A £5,000 reward is being offered by police after the body of a Muslim woman was found in a hospital mortuary, covered with strips of bacon.
Independent The Metropolitan Police’s racial crime task force was called in to investigate the incident, at Hillingdon Hospital in west London, and an extensive inquiry was launched.
It is strictly against the Muslim religion to touch or eat pork and the woman’s family, who do not want to be identified, have been left deeply traumatised. Detective Chief Inspector Tony Hester, of Hillingdon police, said: “This is a particularly grotesque act which has outraged the family as well as the whole community.
“Because of the nature of the incident a criminal investigation was immediately initiated and is still ongoing. DCC4 – Racial and Violent Crime Task Force – was involved in the initial investigation and officers from the Community Safety Unit are in constant liaison with them.
“We are also, of course, keeping the family and local community informed of developments.” The crime was discovered as staff arranged for the body to be viewed by family members.
Police have viewed CCTV footage and speaking to staff and others captured on video outside the mortuary. Forensic experts have also examined the bacon and the gown the woman was wearing.
A member of the woman’s family told BBC London News the incident made them feel “physically sick. It was like a horrible nightmare. I get flashbacks, my brain goes numb. “I witnessed her passing away and then for me to witness that again, it’s traumatic. I feel emotionally raped.”
The woman’s daughter said it was like a nightmare that was still deeply affecting the family. “I thought someone who did this hated Muslims especially. I don’t know why they chose my mum. “In life you expect a lot of things, but something so shocking, you couldn’t even think it up in the worst horror movie. Evil, evil, people.”
David McVittie, chief executive of Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust, expressed sympathy for the family and said everything would be done to find out who was responsible.
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“I am extremely sorry for the distress that the family of the lady concerned suffered as a result of this despicable incident and for any distress it has caused to the Muslim community. “I am shocked and outraged that such a thing has happened and will not rest until we have found the perpetrators of this crime.”
The £5,000 reward has been offered by Scotland Yard and the hospital. The family is being represented by human rights solicitor Imran Khan.