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Amy Winehouse coroner resigns amid controversy

Suzanne Greenaway, who was appointed by her husband, did not have the experience required to hold the post.

Amy Winehouse in 2008
Amy Winehouse in 2008
Image: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE CORONER WHO oversaw the inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse has resigned after her qualifications were questioned – raising the possibility the investigation may have to be held again.

Winehouse’s relatives said they were still absorbing the implications of the news and were seeking legal advice.

In October, Suzanne Greenaway ruled that the soul singer, who was found dead at her London home in July, had died from accidental alcohol poisoning.

Greenaway had been appointed an assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009 by her husband, Andrew Reid, the coroner for inner north London. But she resigned in November after authorities learned she had not been a registered UK lawyer for five years as required by the rules. She had practiced law for a decade in her native Australia.

Her resignation was not made public until today.

“I believed at the time that her experience as a solicitor and barrister in Australia satisfied the requirements of the post,” Reid said in a statement Wednesday. “In November of last year it became apparent that I had made an error in the appointment process and I accepted her resignation.”

Reid apparently broke no laws in appointing his wife but could have breached professional guidelines. Greenaway was one of several deputy assistant coroners.

Winehouse’s family said it had not yet decided what to do. In a statement, the family said it was “taking advice on the implications of this and will decide if any further discussion with the authorities is needed.”

Winehouse’s inquest could be declared invalid if her family challenges the verdict in court. But on Wednesday her father, Mitch, appeared to downplay the likelihood, tweeting: “Don’t worry about coroner nonsense. We are all OK.”

A security guard found Winehouse dead in bed on July 23 at her home in Camden. The 27-year-old singer, known for her distinctive beehive hairdos and multiple Grammy-winning album “Back to Black,” had battled drug and alcohol addiction for years.

More: Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning>

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