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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 08:26 GMT
Trust cancels body storage charge
Ryan Johnson
Ryan Johnson has been charged with his parents' murder
Hospital officials have cancelled a 2,200 charge for storing the bodies of a murdered Cornish couple.

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust had sent the bill to shocked relatives of Jo and Terry Johnson, from Newlyn, who were killed in Crete last March.

Their bodies had been in the mortuary at West Cornwall Hospital before their funerals in July.

The Trust said on Tuesday it would waive the fee as an expression of "compassion and goodwill".

We regret anything that causes deep upset to families
Robert Pitcher

Terry Johnson, 53, and his 54-year-old wife Jo were found stabbed and strangled in their villa in the Chania region of the island.

Their son Ryan, 32, has been charged with murder and is on bail in Crete.

The funeral of the couple was delayed for a second post mortem to take place.

The trust said the coroner released the body on 4 April and that the delay was caused by the family's wish to wait until Ryan Johnson could join them.

That hope was dashed when Greek authorities refused to waive his bail conditions.

'Exceptional' case

The family's undertaker Graham Kent said there had been no warning about the bill.

Ryan Johnson, who strongly denies the charge, said: "I know the hospital is in a financial crisis.

"But my parents lived in Britain and must have paid tax for 70 years and to this date not one British agency has paid anything."

Robert Pitcher, medical director of the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, said that the undertaker should have been warned about the charge.

He said: "There's been a failure in communication with the undertaker. We regret anything that causes deep upset to families.

"We recognise it is a quite exceptional case and we have taken that into account."

See the family's reaction

Funeral for Crete murder couple
14 Jul 06 |  Cornwall
Murder case son pins hope on DNA
07 Apr 06 |  Cornwall
Crete killings accused is bailed
17 Mar 06 |  Cornwall

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