Sister kept in dark over brother’s second funeral

Not informed: Janet Alder
Not informed: Janet Alder

THE Halifax sister of a man found in a morgue 11 years after he was supposed to have been buried has not been consulted over arrangements for his second funeral.

Janet Alder, 50, has criticised the authorities into the investigations surrounding Christopher Alder.

Second funeral: Christopher Alder

Second funeral: Christopher Alder

The former paratrooper was discovered in a Hull mortuary in November and identified by DNA tests.

He died in police custody in 1998.

Mr Alder’s grave will be exhumed shortly as part of a criminal inquiry into the blunder and it is suspected a Nigerian woman, Grace Kamara, 77, was buried in his place.

The body was orginally freleased to Miss Alder ahead of his funeral in 2000 and now it is being released to his adult sons aged 26 and 25 who live in Buckinghamshire.

Miss Alder has little contact with her relatives and said the authorities had told her she would be kept informed and offered continued assistance.

The solicitor acting for his sons informed Miss Alder’s lawyer that the funeral will take place on Thursday at 11.30 am but she has not been told where or whether he is to be buried or cremated.

And, she feared evidence that could be important in the ongoing investigations could be lost.

“I am appalled. When did they embalm him? What has happened to my brother over these past 14 years?

“It is important for my mental well-being to know these things.

“The authorities have totally excluded me. I don’t know anything.”

Miss Alder’s solicitor had been plannning to carry out a visual identification on her behalf this week..

A spokeswoman for South Yorkshire Police which is conducting the investigation said: “Our responsibility lies with identifying Christopher and with regards to the release of the body that’s an issue for the NHS in consultation privately with his family.”

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “This is a private matter for the next of kin of Christopher Alder and the trust cannot comment further.”

He choked to death on the floor of the custody suite at Queens Gardens police station, Hull, with his arms handcuffed behind his back and his trousers around his ankles.

A corner’s jury returned a verdict he was unlawfully killed.

In 2002 five police officers went on trial accused of manslaughter and misconduct in public office but were cleared of all charges on the orders of the judge.

Last November the Government apologised to the Alder family after admitting breaching the European Convention on Human Rights over his death.