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Nottingham murder victim buried without his brain

Police examining Mr Ghafoor's taxi after his murder 18-years-ago Photo: ITV Central

The family of a Nottingham taxi driver who was murdered 18-years-ago say they have been "shocked to the core" after discovering he was buried without his brain. Today in a ceremony they will lay his organ to rest.

The 26-year-old taxi driver Ethsham Ul-Haq Ghafoor died after being shot in 1994 in Gedling, Nottingham.

It was not until an audit of human tissue that had been retained from historical investigations was carried out at the Queen's Medical Centre that it was discovered Mr Ghafoor's brain was not buried with his body.

Mr Ghafoor's brain had been retained for examination after his murder and stored at the Queen's Medical Centre.

Nottinghamshire Police have said at the time of Mr Ghafoor's death there was no specific law on how tissue taken from victims should be stored.

Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Broadbent said:

"We appreciate this is extremely upsetting and difficult time for Mr Ghafoor's family and we are doing everything possible to support them.

"Mr Ghafoor was killed in November 1994 and at that time there was no specific law governing how tissue taken from victims should be stored."

– Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Broadbent

The murder of Ethsham Ul-Haq Ghafoor has never been solved. Assistant Chief Constable Broadbent says Nottinghamshire Police are reviewing his case. He added that the force is now "extremely robust" in keeping relatives of victims fully informed when samples are taken.

"Procedures in Nottinghamshire are now extremely robust in terms of keeping relatives of victims fully informed when samples are taken as part of an investigation and this process is continually reviewed.

"This of course will be of no consolation to Mr Ghafoor's family.

"Mr Ghafoor's murder along with other historic unsolved cases, are reviewed every few years with the potential for further forensic examination, in light of any new techniques. The Force is reviewing Mr Ghafoor's inquiry and will continue their hunt for his killer."

– Assistant Chief Constable, Paul Broadbent

Despite the apologies from Nottinghamshire Police, the family of Mr Ghafoor say they will seek justice, to find the taxi driver's killer and to find out why his organ was stored without consulting them.

"Their apologies, genuine or not, do not justify this wrong that has been done to me and my family. My son's brain was retained for 18years, it is not acceptable and will never be acceptable.

"I do not dispute the reasons why it was taken in the first place, what I dispute is the fact that it has taken 18 years before we were made aware of its taking and retention."

– Family statement