British police investigating the desecration of a Muslim woman’s body found in a hospital mortuary covered with rashers of bacon today revealed they have seized around 2,000 photographs, negatives and slides of dead people believed to have been taken at the mortuary.
The mass of images was found in a raid on the house of a 53-year-old man arrested in connection with the inquiry into activities at west London’s Hillingdon Hospital mortuary.
British police officers are also conducting inquiries into the desecration of a second woman’s body at the hospital, Her body was marked with a pen, Scotland Yard said.
The Muslim woman died on January 17 and her desecrated body was discovered by hospital staff when were preparing the 65-year-old grandmother’s body so the family could pay their respects after she died from cancer.
It is strictly against the Muslim religion to touch or eat pork and the woman’s family were deeply traumatised.
London Metropolitan Police’s racial crime task force was called in to investigate the incident and an extensive inquiry launched.
Officers have so far interviewed and taken statements from around 70 people including hospital staff.
They also examined CCTV footage to find out who had access to the mortuary at the time.
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said that in the course of their inquiries they discovered allegations of the desecration of another body at Hillingdon’s morgue in 1996, this time a white woman.
It was not reported to police at the time, but officers have now contacted her family.
On May 1, a man was arrested in Uxbridge, west London in connection with allegations of theft at the mortuary.
The British police spokeswoman said they could not reveal what was stolen, but confirmed it was not body parts.
In a raid on the man’s house, officers discovered around 2,000 photographs, negatives and slides of dead people, thought to have been taken at Hillingdon mortuary and dating back over at least 10 years, said Scotland Yard.
The spokeswoman said: “The bodies photographed vary in sex, age and ethnic origin. They do not depict desecrations.”
The images are being analysed and police are working to establish whether they were taken illegally.
The man was released on police bail and is due to return for further questioning this Wednesday.
“At this stage there is no evidence to link the four crimes – the two desecrations, the allegations of theft and whether the photos were illegally taken,” the spokeswoman said.
“However, due to the fact that the alleged offences could have taken place at the same location they are being investigated together.”
Detective Superintendent Gordon Briggs, heading the racial and violent crime task force investigation, described the desecrations as “appalling crimes which caused widespread concern”.
He said: “We appeal to anyone at the hospital or from the local community who may have information that could assist with the investigation or identify those responsible to contact us.”
In connection to the inquiry, Scotland Yard said that a 20-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were arrested separately on suspicion of causing a nuisance in a public place.
Both men were released on police bail until later this month, pending further inquires.