Tug of love body battle to High Court

Roger Pearson looks at two women's dispute over the right to cremate

The date has been set for a case in the High Court in which two women are fighting over the dead body of the man they loved.

David Brinson died of pancreatic cancer in May at the age of 42. At the time he was still married to his wife Sally, 40, of Orpington, Kent. However, he had not lived with Mrs Brinson and their two children since 1983.

That was the year he moved in with his mistress, Lorraine, who later changed her name to Brinson by deed poll and who lived with him until the time of his death.

Now the two women are involved in a legal battle over the right to cremate his body. Mr Justice Ognall has paved the way for the High Court to decide who should have the

right to do so.

Lorraine who lived with Mr Brinson and their two children at Wilmington, Kent, is seeking a court order that a coroner should issue her a certificate for cremation of the body.

However, the coroner has refused to issue a certificate in order to protect himself against a possible damages claim on the basis that he released the body to the wrong person.

Sally Brinson is also applying for a cremation certificate and she is expected to be fully represented when the case comes up for full hearing on 17 July.

Granting leave for the court challenge to go ahead, Mr Justice Ognall said he was satisfied that there was an arguable case for judicial review of the coroner's decision.

It was, he said, "a curious and quite interesting case".