Family of Christine Case, who died at Yarl’s Wood, call for support at funeral

Christine Case, who died at Yarl's Wood.
Christine Case, who died at Yarl's Wood.

The family of Christine Case, who died at Yarl’s Wood, near Clapham, are calling for people to attend her funeral to show their support.

Christine, 40, died while being held at the centre on March 30.

Emergency services were called to the centre at around 8am but she was pronounced dead at 8.57am. Yarl’s Wood is run by Serco on behalf of the Home Office and holds up to 405 women and their families and its healthcare is contracted out to Serco Healthcare.

The funeral is at 11am on Friday, June 6, at Power, Praise, Deliverance and Worship Centre, 421-427 High Road, Tottenham, London N17 6QN.

Christine’s family, including her parents who are in the UK for her funeral, are calling on the authorities to ensure that the circumstances around her tragic death are fully investigated and that the inquest into her death is held in a timely manner.

In a statement, her family said: “Our beloved Christine came to England in the hope of a better life. She was devastated when her right to abode was declined and she found herself detained in Yarls’s Wood.

“Regardless of her immigration status Christine had a right to proper care whilst she awaited her return to Jamaica. The circumstances surrounding her death, and the ever growing controversy around conditions in the Yarl’s Wood centre leave us with too many agonising questions.

There is no greater pain than knowing that something could have been done to prevent the death of a loved one. We need answers. We need to know what happened so that we can properly grieve without this shadow of uncertainty hanging over us.’

Irène Nembhard, the solicitor for the family of Christine Case, said: “‘It is always deeply upsetting when a loved one dies suddenly and unexpectedly. This is even more so when they die in the custody of the State.

“The family will be seeking to learn from the inquest whether everything that could have been done to save Christine’s life when she took ill was in fact done.”