CPS decision on Christopher Alder and Grace Kamara body mix up

03/10/2013

A CPS review of evidence in respect of the exchange of two bodies at the former Spring Street Mortuary in Hull has now concluded.

The reviewing lawyer, Richard Hebbert, has concluded that there is insufficient evidence for a prosecution.

Richard Hebbert, Senior Crown Prosecutor, said: "The police investigation in this case sought to establish how the bodies of Christopher Alder and Grace Kamara came to be exchanged and whether, in the circumstances in which that happened, any criminal act was committed. I have considered a number of potential offences.

"In my review of this case I considered, firstly, whether there was evidence of acts by identifiable people which caused the exchange of bodies and which amounted to a criminal offence. However, on the evidence I have considered, it has not been possible to determine with any accuracy when or how the bodies of Mr Alder and Mrs Kamara came to be exchanged, the personnel involved, or that what happened was anything more than an error.  For these reasons I concluded that, in relation to direct responsibility for the exchange, there was insufficient evidence to give a realistic prospect of a conviction for any offence.

"I went on to consider whether any criminal offences might arise from the management of or the work practices used in the mortuary services in Hull and the East Riding.  Whilst it is clear that there were failures by mortuary staff to implement identification procedures which might have prevented or led to earlier discovery of the error, I am not satisfied that any failure by those whose duty it was to direct or supervise the work in the mortuaries was such as to meet the high test required to establish criminal liability.

"I know this will be a disappointing outcome for both families involved, who have endured the shocks which these events have provided with dignity. I have offered both a meeting to explain my decision personally to them."