Family’s anger at coroner
A CORONER has been criticised over the delay in releasing the body of a Jewish woman for burial.
Holocaust survivor Ester Kestenbaum, 91, died on Sunday at a care home in Stamford Hill. Her family requested that she be buried the following day.
But senior coroner for Inner North London, Mary Hassell, was on leave and her office refused to process the necessary paperwork on a bank holiday.
The funeral eventually took place on Tuesday.
Rabbi Asher Gratt, spokesman for the strictly Orthodox Adath Yisroel Burial Society, called the decision “a shameful disgrace”inanopenlettersentto13local and national government officials.
Rabbi Gratt said it was “entirely inconsistent with the free open society which Britain claims and aspires to be”.
Trevor Asserson, whose law firm is representing the deceased’s family, said the refusal was “out of step” with the Chief Coroner’s advice on out-of-hours service and showed a disregard for the needs of faith groups.
Ms Hassell was unavailable for comment. The Jewish and Muslim communities have previously clashed with the coroner over the scrapping of weekends and out-of-hours services.