The body of a young mother who died of suspected poisoning is to be flown to her home country of Pakistan for burial.

A five-month battle over who should get 22-year-old Sana Abbasi’s remains finally ended in an emotionally-charged court room in Bradford today.

Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker heard calls from the legal team representing Bradford relatives quizzed by police on suspicion of her murder – including Mrs Abbasi’s husband and mother-in-law – to release the body to them so it could be preserved until they were “cleared” of any criminal proceedings.

But her aunt, Shobna Abbasi, made an impassioned plea on behalf of her niece’s family in Pakistan.

She said: “Sana wanted to go back to her parents. We would like to be allowed to take Sana back to her mother so that her mother can see her child for the last time and lay her child to rest.

“Her mother’s health has deteriorated so much and we hope that Sana’s journey back home would bring peace to Sana’s soul and to her mother.

“It’s everyone’s wish, and was especially Sana’s wish, to be brought back home to Pakistan and to have her family around her.”

Mr Whittaker said normally if there was no will, as he believed in this case, the body would be released to the husband unless there were “special circumstances”.

But he added: “I believe there are special circumstances which allow me to go beyond the normal rules and instead of choosing the surviving husband, I turn to the father and mother as being next entitled.”

He also pre-judged an application by Mrs Abbasi’s aunt and sister to take her body out of England saying: “If an application is to be made to take Sana out of England to be buried in Pakistan in the grave that has been prepared for her, then I will grant it.”

Earlier the inquest heard Detective Chief Inspector Mark Ridley, of West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide and Major Enquiry Team, tell Mr Whittaker: “There’s no evidence of natural causes in this case.

“The indications are that the victim has been the subject of some sort of toxin, we are investigating and exploring what that toxin could possibly be”.

Det Chief Insp Ridley later said: “The indications are that toxin is likely to be a heavy metal.”

However, he said the prosecution no longer needed to keep Mrs Abbasi’s body, even though toxicological tests were ongoing and there could be more.

Mrs Abbasi, of Hendford Drive, Pollard Park, died in Bradford Royal Infirmary in July where she had been detained with an unexplained illness following the birth of her daughter.

Her 23-year-old husband, Fiaz Rehman, and his 56-year-old mother, Rukhsana, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and are on bail pending further inquiries.

Mrs Abbasi’s brother-in-law, Amjad Rehman, and his wife Asma, have also been questioned by detectives in connection with her death and are also on bail.

By Kathie Griffiths »