Resignation over Amy Winehouse coroner appointment
- 12 December 2012
- From the section London
The Coroner for Inner North London has resigned following an inquiry into his decision to appoint his wife without thoroughly checking her qualifications.
Dr Andrew Scott Reid appointed Suzanne Greenaway as the assistant deputy coroner in July 2009. She oversaw singer Amy Winehouse's inquest.
Ms Greenaway resigned in November last year because she had not been a lawyer in the UK for the required five years.
The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice suggested Dr Reid be removed.
But Dr Reid stepped down from judicial office on 7 December before the disciplinary process by the Office for Judicial Complaints was formally concluded.
A spokesperson for the Office for Judicial Complaints said: "The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice had indicated their intention to remove Dr Reid from judicial office.
"Dr Reid was entitled to ask for a review body panel to review the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice's provisional decision. The review body panel recommended Dr Reid should be removed from office.
"However, Dr Reid resigned from his post as a coroner and also as a tribunal judge in the Health Education and Social Care Chamber, before the disciplinary process was formally concluded."
Appointed 'in error'
Dr Reid said he appointed his wife in the belief that her previous experience "satisfied the requirements of the post".
Ms Greenaway qualified in Australia in 1999 and was a member of the Supreme Court there, but she had not worked as a lawyer for the required time in the UK.
According to British law, she would have needed either five years with the Law Society or five years of experience as a qualified medical practitioner. She met neither criteria.
During her time as deputy assistant coroner, Ms Greenaway conducted 12 inquests in Camden, including one in October 2011 into Winehouse's death.
She ruled that the 27-year-old singer died from accidental alcohol poisoning and returned a verdict of misadventure.
In February, confirming her resignation, Camden Council said the Winehouse inquest verdict remained legal and would only be judged illegal if it was challenged and subsequently overturned by the High Court.
The council said Ms Greenaway had been appointed "in error".