Shipman's widow visits post-mortem centre as investigation into death begins

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The widow of Harold Shipman visited the building where his body was being kept yesterday, as an independent inquiry into his death in prison began.

Primrose Shipman, 54, left her cottage in Walshford, North Yorkshire, at 11.15am to travel to the Medico-Legal Centre in Sheffield, accompanied by two officers from West Yorkshire Police. This was the first time she had left the house since her husband was found hanging in his cell, at 6.20am on Tuesday. It was unclear whether Mrs Shipman viewed her husband's body at the centre, where a post-mortem examination, completed by a Home Office pathologist, confirmed the cause of death to be hanging. The West Yorkshire detectives who accompanied Mrs Shipman and one of her sons, believed to be David, 24, said they would be discussing funeral arrangements for Shipman.

The West Yorkshire force refused to say yesterday whether their inquiries would include an interview with Mrs Shipman about the six-minute phone conversation she had with her husband on the evening before his death.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister said the Government would to "fully implement" the findings of the continuing Shipman inquiry, which is being headed by the High Court judge Dame Janet Smith. In the Commons, he also expressed his "deep sympathy" for the relatives of victims of Britain's most prolific serial killer, following his apparent suicide.

Meanwhile, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Stephen Shaw arrived at Wakefield Prison for discussions with staff and prisoners.

Mr Shaw said: "What I need to be sure of is that there were no triggers - inside prison or outside - that were missed and that his treatment was proper and the things that were supposed to happen, in terms of checking on him, were done."