There is ongoing confusion over just when an elderly cancer sufferer actually died, a coroner’s court has heard.
A preliminary hearing opened yesterday in Belfast into the death of Edward Magee.
At the outset, one of Mr Magee’s causes of death was listed as mesothelioma – a form of cancer which is commonly linked to asbestos.
The other cause was listed as being emphysema.
Mr Magee, aged 73 at time of death and whose address was given as Shore Road, Newtownabbey, had worked as a caretaker.
The case has yet to proceed in full to establish the circumstances of his death, and yesterday coroner James Kitson heard there were question marks over whether the deceased had passed away on May 14, 2013, or on May 13.
On the inquest document yesterday the date of death was listed as May 14, but the court heard nurses had told the family it was the 13th.
The court heard patient files had been sought to try and shed light on the matter, but that some of the notes had not turned up.
The lawyer acting for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said a further search was being carried out to find them.
Mr Kitson called this “concerning”, and said it had been “rumbling on much too long”.
Acting for the family, barrister Rory Fee had told the court the delay in resolving the issue was “exacerbating their grief”.
Mr Kitson told those assembled in May’s Chambers that the case should resume next month.
Speaking afterwards, daughter Sinead Eastwood, from north Belfast, said the ongoing uncertainty meant that they were unable to get a proper headstone made for him.