Family's plea over missing kidney

 

Parents of a man whose body was returned from Greece with the wrong kidney have demanded answers eight months after the authorities put them through the horror of an exhumation.

After Christopher Rochester, 24, died from internal injuries following a balcony fall on the island of Rhodes in 2000, his body was returned to the UK missing a kidney.

His mother Pam Cummings and stepfather George, from Chester-le-Street, County Durham, demanded the organ be sent and three months later one arrived.

But subsequent DNA tests paid for by the family showed it came from someone else.

In June, the Greek authorities demanded Christopher's body be exhumed to allow samples to be taken to prove the family's claims, and independent tests in Belgium have been carried out.

Since then the family have heard nothing.

Durham North Labour MP Kevan Jones wrote to the Greek Ambassador last week asking if the results of the Belgian testing were known, and if there had been progress in any criminal investigation into the missing kidney.

He wrote: "You will appreciate the family have found the exhumation very traumatic and the delay and lack of information is causing them great distress."

Mr Cummings called a news conference at the family's modern terraced home to put pressure on the Greek authorities to give them the answers they need.

He said: "We are no further forward now than when Christopher's body was exhumed.

"You would think they would treat us with human decency after putting us through this, and having moved Christopher from his final resting place, and for once in 12 years they would act humanely, with compassion and respect. But no."

The family have since been given counselling after feeling compelled to agree to the exhumation. If they had refused they felt the Greek authorities would claim they were obstructing the investigation.

Mr Cummins, 52, believed the kidney was removed at autopsy either to hide evidence about how Christopher died, or it was accidentally misplaced and lost, or, that it was stolen for a transplant.

"There is a possibility it was taken illegally for transplantation - we don't know because we weren't there," he said. Christopher's kidney has gone and it could be in somebody else's body.

"We want a court case so the people who were there can stand up and be held accountable for what they have done and explain in exact detail why they have done it."

In 2008, a Greek doctor was convicted of neglecting Mr Rochester during his treatment in hospital.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing