FORMER Home Secretary Alan Johnson has condemned Hull City Council after former Burnley man Christopher Alder (37) was found in a mortuary in the city – 10 years after his family believed they had buried him.
Christopher, a former paratrooper and Falklands veteran, died in 1998 when he choked on his own blood on the floor of a Hull police cell. An Independent Police Complaints Commission later concluded four police officers were guilty of neglect.
In further heartbreak for the family, it has emerged a 77-year-old Nigerian woman, Grace Kamara, was mistakenly buried in his grave.
Now Alan Johnson, the former Labour Home Secretary and MP for Hull West and Hessle, has added his voice to the family’s criticism of Hull City Council.
After meeting the council’s chief executive, Nicola Yates, he said: “This is horrific. I think it’s the most difficult and most complex problem I’ve come across as a member of parliament and in government.
“The most important thing is firstly to get to the truth of why this happened and secondly to help the families.”
Christopher’s sister, Janet Alder, told the Express of her anger and upset at this latest setback.
In a further devastating twist, it emerged the ashes of Christopher’s niece, who died aged 25 from kidney failure, had been scattered on his grave.
Janet said: “It’s totally unbelievable. Christopher was an ex-paratrooper who fought for his country. He should’ve been treated with respect.
“I’m not going to make any decisions. If the Home Office want to exhume the body, it can make that decision.”
Nicola Yates, meanwhile, has requested that police undertake a criminal investigation into what she described “an extremely distressing case”.
“I am appalled and distraught at what we have learned and my first priority has been to make sure the families involved are kept informed and given the necessary support.