On 17 May 2012, the Butler family were informed by Police that a part of Anthony Butler’s skull had been retained by the PSNI for 19 years.
Mr Butler’s partner, Maureen Jameson said, “I am in total shock and very angry. I have been receiving counselling for years and have only just recently come to terms with losing Tony 19 years ago. The Police banged on the door yesterday and told me that they were here regarding my late partner. I thought that the police were coming out to tell me that they caught the people who murdered Tony. It’s as if it is happening all over again. This has brought all the pain back. They left me with a decision whether to bury Tony’s skull or incinerate it.”
After considering their position, the family have decided to take legal action.
The family have instructed their solicitors, Madden & Finucane, who have now initiated legal proceedings against the PSNI.
Patrick Madden solicitor, who represents the Butler family said today:
“We do not accept the explanation given by Police for not informing the family about the retained body part. There must be an immediate and transparent inquiry into why relatives were not informed and why they have waited until now to come clean.
“We have represented dozens of families involved in the Human Organ Inquiry, so we are aware of the devastation and the traumatic effects that this news has on families. But more importantly, the Police would also have been aware of the ramifications of this Inquiry and also the Alder Hey organs scandal in 1999 which led to the Human Tissue Act 2004. For whatever reason, they have decided not to make relatives aware until now and this has caused extreme distress to our clients. This is totally unacceptable.
“We have now initiated legal proceedings on behalf of the Butler family.”
Mr Anthony Butler was murdered by the UFF in 1993. No one has ever been charged with his murder.