Search

Delay in burial of leading rabbi sparks campaign for out-of-hours coroner service to return

15:00 13 March 2014

A delay repatriating Rabbi Nathan Donath

A delay repatriating Rabbi Nathan Donath's body to Jerusalem has prompted calls for the out-of-hours coorner's service to be reinstated

Archant

A delay in the burial of a leading rabbi from Jerusalem has sparked a campaign by the Jewish and Muslim communities to have weekend coroners’ services reinstated.

Coroner Mary Hassell withdrew the weekend and evening service when she took over in May last yearCoroner Mary Hassell withdrew the weekend and evening service when she took over in May last year

More than 6,000 names have been added to a petition calling for the inner north London district coroner’s office – which covers Camden, Hackney and Islington – to work out of hours after a three-day hold-up in signing the death certificate of Rabbi Nathan Tibor Donath, who died in Stamford Hill on Friday, February 21.

People of both faiths believe they must bury their dead as soon as possible, but coroner Mary Hassell withdrew the weekend and evening service when she took over in May last year.

Since then, the cases of anyone who dies on a Friday afternoon or at the weekend are not looked at until the following Monday.

The issue, which affects tens of thousands of people living across four London boroughs, meant Rabbi Tibor Donath’s body could not be repatriated until the Tuesday after his death.

Jacob Stern, who liaises with London coroners on behalf of the Jewish community, said: “It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The new coroner has stopped all out-of-hours contact.

“If someone passes away at 3.30pm on Friday, nothing is done until Monday.

“According to our laws, the person should be returned to the earth as soon as possible after death. Waiting to do a burial 
compounds the grief of the community.”

Mahmoud Mapara, chairman of Tottenham Park Islamic Cemetery Association – part of the North London Mosque Trust – in Cazenove Road, said: “The Muslim community is supporting the Jewish community on this. It’s something we have been frustrated about for the last seven to eight months.

“Before, a doctor was able to speak to the coroner’s office. Now the coroner has said the office won’t talk to doctors unless they email or fax.

“Leaving aside the weekends, it’s taking up to five working days to get a coroner’s report or an inquest done. It’s not acceptable.

“Our communities are furious.”

A spokesman for the UK’s chief coroner said: “The chief coroner is aware that certain faith groups, particularly Jewish and Muslim, seek early burial and coroners are sensitive to their needs.

“Most coroner procedures are carried out during usual working hours. Out-of-hours working, particularly at weekends, requires additional resources such as the services of pathologists, staff at mortuaries and administrative staff. These are matters for those who provide resources, such as the local authority and the police, not individual coroners.

“Nevertheless the chief coroner is working to see what can be done with these current limitations in mind.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 08:41
Owner Saby Thukral at the opening party of her store in Heath Street

Struggling with the challenge of shopping for her fashion-conscious daughters in the area, a Hampstead Garden Suburb mother has opened up a new children’s shop in Hampstead.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Claire Meir part of a charity raising money for books for Syrian refugees in Turkey. Photo: Nigel Sutton

A mother was inspired to fundraise to buy books for Syrian children in Turkey after imagining what it would be like if her son was fleeing devastating civil war.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
The primary school pupils enjoyed a range of workshops. Photo: Jacqui Sinnatt

Camden and Islington primary school children enjoyed a taste of creativity away from the classroom at the Primary Careers Fair held at the British Library.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Ray Davies is returning to Hornsey Town Hall

Ray Davies performed one of his first gigs at the iconic venue when he was still at school, before going on to form The Kinks

Friday, April 29, 2016
The coffin arrives for the funeral of David Gest arriving at Golders Green Crematorium in north London.

Mourners have remembered music producer and TV star David Gest at a funeral service in Golders Green.

Friday, April 29, 2016
PC Shane Moulds has been dismissed for misconduct

A Camden police constable has been sacked for punching a member of the public he was arresting and hurling abuse at him, calling him a ‘posh twat’

Friday, April 29, 2016
Big Green Bookshop is raising money for Haringey schools.  Joint owner Tim West  pictured. Photo: Nigel Sutton

Two book owners was sickened when an opportunistic thief stole £600, but their customers were “unbelievably” supportive and in a “tsunami of loveliness” helped them raise more than nine times the amount in donations.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Found dead: David Gest (Picture: Ian West/PA Wire)

The funeral of David Gest is set to take place this afternoon at Golders Green crematorium, according to reports.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe