HC Deb 09 September 2004 vol 424 c954

6.1 pm

Mr. Robert Walter (North Dorset) (Con)

Baby Ryan Franklin died at the hands of his father in May 2002, aged two. His body lay in a mortuary for a further 18 months, awaiting a second post mortem, which never took place—until a trial resulted in his father, Lee Khair, being convicted of his manslaughter. The child's mother, my constituent, Cathy Franklin, of Blandford, was outraged that she could not lay her baby to rest and has collected a petition, with 1,000 signatures, demanding a change in the law, as well as many hundreds of e-mails.

The petition reads:

To the House of Commons,

The Petition of Cathy Franklin and others,

Declares that after the death of Ryan John Franklin his family was unable to bury him for nearly two years while time was made available for two post mortems to be carried out, and that the delay to his burial was the cause of great suffering.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons pass legislation to make provision for post mortem arrangements in cases of violent death; and to limit to three months the time allowed for a second post mortem to be carried out before the body is released for burial.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

To lie upon the Table.