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Death of Alder Hey controversy coroner

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.clickliverpool.com/news/local-news/122735-death-of-alder-hey-controversy-coroner.html Death of Alder Hey controversy coroner by Chris Johnson.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 5, 2009
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      http://www.clickliverpool.com/news/local-news/122735-death-of-alder-hey-controversy-coroner.html

      Death of Alder Hey controversy coroner
      by Chris Johnson. Published Thu 05 Feb 2009 16:54

      The coroner who presided over inquests at the centre of the Alder Hey
      Hospital organ retention scandal has died.

      Former Merseyside coroner Roy Stanley Barter died at the aged 81 of a
      suspected stroke at his home in North Wales.

      During his thirty years in the post Mr Barter presided over more than
      90,000 hearings, including that into the the death of murdered
      toddler James Bulger.

      Mr Barter was the coroner during the period in which Dutch professor
      Dick van Velzen stockpiled a collection of children's organs at Alder
      Hey Hospital, without parental consent.

      The Redfern Report into the scandal accused him of "slack practices"
      in failing to insist on full post mortem reports and delegating the
      decision to carry out a coroner's post mortem.

      At the time Mr Barter rejected the inquiry's findings but refused to
      discuss the matter.

      Mr Barter was educated at Liverpool Institute before joining the
      Army. He studied law at Trinity Hall Cambridge and in 1953 became a
      resident magistrate in Uganda

      He received his MBE for his colonial service and returned to the UK
      and in 1969 when was appointed as Coroner in Liverpool.

      A father-of-five, he was renown for his sharp legal brain and and his
      ability to concisely explain complex medical matters in layman's terms.

      His son, Paul Barter, 48, said: "He will be remembered as a man of
      great professionalism and integrity."

      * During the latter part of his service as coroner, Mr Barter said
      little about his 'other life' as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church.

      He took the name 'Father Alban Barter' at ordination in the mid-80s
      and celebrated mass at his home in Ruthin, and at chapels dotted
      around the North West.

      Mr Barter, born an Anglican and his wife Barbara, a Roman Catholic,
      selected Greek orthodoxy because they rejected the progressive moves
      of their respective faiths.

      Interviewed in 1989 Mr Barter said: "My wife and I began to notice an
      increasing number of faults within the churches which we found unacceptable.

      "By contrast the Greek Orthodox mass is traditional in every sense.
      If you attend an
      orthodox service 1,000 years ago and one in the present day you would
      still be able to recognise what was going on.

      "Very little has changed in all those years in the Greek Othodox
      church and we found it very appealing.

      "Becoming members of the Greek Orthodox church satisfied a deep
      spiritual need we both felt."
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