Amy Winehouse Relatives Outraged After Coroner Resigns

Amy Winehouse’s relatives said they were still absorbing the implications and seeking legal advice after the coroner who oversaw the inquest into the death of their daughter resigned.

In October, Suzanne Greenaway ruled that the soul singer, who was found dead at her London home in July, had died from accidental alcohol poisoning, and that raises the possibility that a investigation may have to be held again.

Greenaway had been appointed an assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009 by her husband, Andrew Reid, the coroner for inner north London. But she resigned in November after authorities learned she had not been a registered U.K. lawyer for five years as required by the rules. She had practiced law for a decade in her native Australia.

Her resignation was not made public until Wednesday.

“I believed at the time that her experience as a solicitor and barrister in Australia satisfied the requirements of the post,” Reid said in a statement Wednesday. “In November of last year it became apparent that I had made an error in the appointment process and I accepted her resignation.”

Reid apparently broke no laws in appointing his wife but could have breached professional guidelines. Greenaway was one of several deputy assistant coroners.

The local authority, Camden Council, said it was confident Reid “had made an error in good faith” when he appointed his wife, but said the matter was being investigated by Britain’s Office for Judicial Complaints.

Greenaway oversaw 12 inquests in Camden, the north London borough where Winehouse lived, and others in east London. Reid said he was “confident that all of the inquests handled were done so correctly” — but offered to hold those inquests over again if the families of the deceased wanted it.

Winehouse’s family said it had not yet decided what to do. In a statement, the family said it was “taking advice on the implications of this and will decide if any further discussion with the authorities is needed.”

Winehouse’s inquest could be declared invalid if her family challenges the verdict in court. But on Wednesday her father, Mitch, appeared to downplay the likelihood, tweeting: “Don’t worry about coroner nonsense. We are all OK.”




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