Second post-mortem delays Irish funerals of Leicester fire victims

Friday 27 September 2013 14.41
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Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar said he does not want to go inside the burnt out family home
Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar said he does not want to go inside the burnt out family home
Mr Sattar said it is a difficult time for him as he waits to bury his family
Mr Sattar said it is a difficult time for him as he waits to bury his family

Dr Muhammad Taufiq al-Sattar, whose family were killed in a house fire in Leicester earlier this month, has said the funerals cannot take place until a second post-mortem examination has been completed.

Shehnila Taufiq, 47, her daughter Zainab, 19, and sons Bilal, 17, and 15-year-old Jamil died in the blaze at their home on Wood Hill in Leicester on Friday 13 September.

Mr Sattar, a Dublin-based neurosurgeon, said the second post-mortem has been delayed until at least 8 October.

He told BBC Radio 4 he did not know when he would be able to bury his wife and children in Ireland.

Under Islamic law, a person is usually buried no later than 24 hours after their death.

Leicestershire police have charged an 18-year-old man with murder over the fire.

A further seven people have been arrested in the Leicester area.

Mr Sattar will continue to live and practice his faith in Ireland after previously spending most weekends in Leicester to be with his family.

The consultant, who is currently staying with friends in Leicester, said: "I was told the earliest the pathologist can do a second post-mortem will be 8 October so it's a difficult time for me I'm sure you can imagine."

Mr Sattar said the last two weeks had been "extremely difficult" for him, but added his faith had given him "strength".

"It was God's plan to take the life," he said.

His wife and children were studying in Leicester for an Islamic education at the time of their deaths.

"As a neurosurgeon, I know we deal with life and death every day - so it was in my mind, something which is beyond your control," Mr Sattar added.

He said it had been "very painful" to see the family home, which had been gutted by the flames.

"I saw (the house) only from a very quick glance from the distance," he said.

"(It was) very painful. And I'm not seeing my house again... I don't want to go inside."

Mr Sattar said he was "delighted" that community relations had remained peaceful in Leicester since the fire.

He said his "aim" was that similar incidents should "not happen to any other family".