Amy Winehouse Death Inquest Could Be Invalid

By McCarton Ackerman 02/01/12

The coroner who ruled that the icon died from alcohol poisoning wasn't properly qualified.

Amy Winehouse's Photo via

A mix-up in the appointment of coroners could mean the inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse—which found she had died of alcohol poisoningmay be ruled invalid. It was revealed this morning that the coroner in charge, Suzanne Greenway, was unqualified for the role and resigned a month after the investigation. Greenway recorded that Winehouse died by "misadventure" at her London home on July 23, 2010, as an "unintended consequence" of drinking too much alcohol. But she was a solicitor in the UK Law Society for merely two-and-a-half years, it turns out, instead of the required five. She should also have served five years as a "qualified medical practitioner," but was only qualified as a nurse in her native Australia. How she got the job  seems a mysteryuntil you learn that she was appointed to the role by her husband, London coroner Dr. Andrew Scott Reid. "In November, it became apparent that I'd made an error in the appointment process," says Reid. "While I am confident that all of the inquests handled were done so correctly, I apologize if this matter causes distress." The 30 inquests that Greenway worked on could be declared illegal if they are challenged by the UK High Court.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.