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Monday, 7 November 2011

man who died while in police custody has been discovered in a morgue - more than a decade after he was supposedly buried

04:10 |

Officials are investigating claims that a man who died while in police custody has been discovered in a morgue - more than a decade after he was supposedly buried.

The mix-up was discovered last Friday, when the Hull City Council tried to bury the body of Grace Kamara, a woman who died in 1999 but whose council funded burial was delayed for "family-related reasons".

In a statement issued by the council, it said the body of a man in his late thirties was located in the city mortuary where Ms Kamara's body was supposed to be resting.

The council said at the moment it "cannot explain this".

A subsidiary statement was then issued confirming that the man's body is that of 37-year-old ex-paratrooper Christopher Alder.

Mr Alder's family has been informed that they buried the wrong body over a decade ago.

He died in police custody in 1998, after being arrested following a disturbance in the city.

Mr Alder was lying handcuffed and face down in a pool of blood in a police cell when he choked to death.

Five Humberside police officers went on trial accused of manslaughter and misconduct in 2002.

All were cleared of the charges, although a subsequent Independent Police Complaints Commission report found that they had been guilty of "unwitting racism" and "serious neglect of duty".


Christopher Alder

Mr Alder's body was found in a morgue mix-up

Mr Alder's sister Janet also brought a racial discrimination case against the Crown Prosecution Service following the trial.

That case was dismissed, although the judge presiding over it said that she shared some of Ms Alder's concerns over "the possibility that racial discrimination played some part in the actions of the police officers on the night that Christopher Alder died".

Regarding the mix-up of the two bodies, the chief executive of Hull City Council said: "I am appalled and distraught at what I have learned and in conjunction with Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, we will be undertaking a thorough review of the circumstances surrounding the events.

"I am sure you will appreciate that because of the great sensitivity of this case, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.

"Out of respect for both of the families involved and because of the complexities involved I cannot give any more information at this time.

"Can I end by extending my sincere sympathies and regret to everyone involved in these tragic set of circumstances."

The investigation into the mix-up is continuing.

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