Ipswich mother's anger at having to bury baby for second time in 16 years after police retained body parts
PUBLISHED: 15:33 22 April 2015 | UPDATED: 19:10 22 April 2015
A grieving Ipswich mother has buried her baby for the second time after police failed to tell her they had retained the child's body parts for 13 years.
Six-month-old Andrea French was killed by her father Meyrick Fowler at her Bond Street home in 1999.
In 2000 the 24-year-old was jailed for four years for manslaughter after shaking Andrea and throwing her down in ‘a moment of madness’ in a fit of pique over his lottery numbers.
Andrea’s mother Kezzia, who was not at home at the time, buried her daughter at Ipswich Cemetery 16 years ago.
In 2012 Suffolk Constabulary informed Miss French that nearly all of Andrea’s organs had been retained as part of its inquiry.
Miss French, who lives near Ipswich town centre, buried Andrea for a second time yesterday.
Yesterday she said: “I couldn’t believe they had done this to me. I feel humiliated and shocked. It is like a double-grief. It has added insult to injury.
“I was absolutely shocked the system could actually allow that to happen.
“What got me was two CID officers watched me bury half a baby at the first funeral.
“Overall Suffolk police have been reasonable to me, but I feel they led me to believe Andrea was intact.
“When I saw her body after she passed away I just got the feeling that something wasn’t right, call it a mother’s instinct if you like.”
“I buried Andrea yesterday morning because it was the anniversary of when she was killed. It was a grim day for me, but I have to cope because I have two more children to look after.”
Anne-Marie Breach, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “In 2010, all police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were tasked with conducting an audit of any human tissue samples which had been retained as part of criminal investigations that had since been concluded.
“We sought to undertake the notifying of families sensitively, prioritising the wishes of the families affected.”