Family exhume boxer’s body for independent postmortem

A SECOND postmortem was carried out yesterday on Olympic boxer Darren Sutherland after his body was exhumed from a cemetery in Co Meath.

The medical examination by an independent pathologist of the 27-year-old, who won bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, was carried out after Meath County Council granted a licence to his family to have his grave in St Finian’s Cemetery in Navan reopened.

The body was exhumed at 5am yesterday morning and was reinterred by the afternoon.

The findings will be presented at the resumed inquest into the boxer’s death in November.

Mr Sutherland was found hanging in his London flat by his manager Frank Maloney on September 14 last year.

The Metropolitan Police treated the death “as not suspicious”, a finding disputed by Mr Sutherland’s family.

Issues concerning the young boxer’s death were also raised by pathologist Professor Jack Crane, who was hired by the family to review the initial autopsy.

Prof Crane described the standard of the initial autopsy as inadequate and said the involvement of a third party in Mr Sutherland’s death could not be ruled out.

He added that the initial report included no detailed description of the ligature found around Mr Sutherland’s neck and failed to give an adequate description of marks on his body.

After being exhumed, the body was taken to Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan for a second postmortem examination.

Mr Sutherland’s family did not go into detail about their call for another postmortem, but said they would “assist in putting all relevant matters before the coroner”.

A statement from the Sutherland family, relayed to the media by their solicitor, said: “Whilst they are not at liberty to go into the specific reasons for their application given the pending coronial inquest into their late son’s death, they feel that the conduct of a second postmortem into Darren’s death will only assist in putting all relevant matters before the coroner when the inquest into Darren’s death is reconvened later this year.”

He added: “They are firmly of the view that the only forum for determining the facts surrounding Darren’s death is through the judicial process and not otherwise.”

Mr Sutherland turned professional a few months after winning the bronze medal at the 2008 Games, winning his first four fights.

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