Fam­ily’s anger at coroner

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JOSH JACKMAN

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.

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