Winehouse coroner was not qualified

 

Amy Winehouse's family is seeking legal advice after it emerged that the coroner who presided over her inquest was improperly appointed by her husband.

Suzanne Greenaway was appointed assistant deputy coroner in inner north London in 2009 by Dr Andrew Scott Reid. She stood down last November after it emerged she did not have the correct qualifications.

The Office for Judicial Complaints is investigating Dr Reid's conduct, but, under antiquated coronial rules, only coroners can discipline deputies and assistants.

Coroners, who are lawyers or doctors, must have been registered with a professional body in the UK for at least five years. Ms Greenaway practised as a solicitor in Australia from 1999 but came here less than three years ago. She could face disciplinary action by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

Despite the irregularities, her inquest verdicts remain intact and legally, can only be challenged by judicial review in the High Court.

But Dr Reid yesterday indicated that he would authorise the cases to be reheard if the relatives of the deceased so wished.

All coroners will eventually require prior approval by the new Chief Coroner and Lord Chancellor.

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