Search

London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore calls for senior coroner Mary Hassell to be sacked

PUBLISHED: 18:56 19 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:56 19 January 2018

Andrew Dismore.              Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

Andrew Dismore. Picture: PA/Nick Ansell

PA Archive/PA Images

Andrew Dismore AM, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden, has added his voice to the calls for the resignation of Inner North London coroner Mary Hassell.

Ms Hassell is at the centre of a row over her decision to withdraw special burial arrangements for members of the Jewish and Muslim communities.

Under Jewish and Islamic law, bodies must be buried on the day of death or as soon as possible afterwards. Both faiths also view invasive postmortems as desecration, preferring CT body scans and autopsies only as a last resort.

Mr Dismore writes in the Ham&High: “I was appalled to read about the problems Ms Mary Hassell, the Senior Coroner for Inner North London, has caused for bereaved Jewish and Muslim families.

I recall these problems began several years ago after her move from Wales, where she probably did not have experience of the needs of minority communities.

One would have thought that before applying for the job, she might have reflected on the needs of one of the country’s biggest Jewish communities and our large and growing Muslim population, including the need for prompt burial, watching over the deceased, and avoiding invasive autopsies.

Since her appointment, Ms Hassell has faced one court case after another, with legal costs in six figures met by taxpayers, brought by bereaved families to whom she should have given space to grieve not force to the court room to obtain respect for their cultural expectations.

Our corner of London is amongst the most diverse in the country.

Ms Hassell’s insensitive behaviour– probably unique in our local public services- flies in the face of harmonious community relations and cannot be tolerated any longer.

It is long overdue that she should go.

The Lord Chancellor should sack her, if he cares about the reputation of our legal system.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

16:43

The victims of Tuesday night’s stabbings have been named as 17-year-old Abdikarim Hassan, and 20-year-old Sadiq Adan Mohamed.

15:27

A mother of three with cancer forced to sell the family home to pay for treatment abroad has called for the life-saving therapy to be made available on the NHS.

15:20

Dog lovers have been invited to put on their walking shoes for a cancer charity’s first “Woof” fundraising day.

15:11

The chairman of a community group charged with shining a spotlight on policing has attacked the merger of borough forces.

15:05

A developer has been urged to spare a 200-year-old Georgian villa from the wrecking ball.

Police have launched separate murder investigations after two young men were fatally stabbed in Kentish Town last night.

12:32

Campaigners battling to free Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe left letters of solidarity for the jailed mum on the steps of the Iranian Embassy.

12:19

A night of knife violence in Kentish Town last night saw two young men killed, and another suffer stab injuries.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Melange, with locations in Barnet and Crouch End, has opened a third in Belsize Park. Here co-owner Justina Markauskaite talks about removing the borders between cuisines and why they put family at the centre of everything they do

Less is More, a group exhibition at the Daniel Raphael Gallery will feature emerging artists from England, Italy, France and the Czech Republic, from January 24 to February 16.

For people who suffer with feet problems, it is often difficult to find footwear that is both comfortable and stylish. There is a shop in the West End dedicated to changing that.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now