A FUNERAL is being held today for a West Yorkshire nurse who died 30 years ago in Saudi Arabia.
Helen Smith, 23, from Guiseley, is believed to have died after a fall from a balcony in the city of Jeddah in May 1979.
Her father, Ron, 83, who worked as a police officer in Huddersfield, refused to believe official reports that his daughter’s death was an accident and would not allow her body to be released for burial.
Miss Smith’s remains have since been held in a mortuary in Leeds, believed to be the longest time a body has lain unburied in the UK.
Last month, former police officer Mr Smith, who lives in Leeds, said that while he would never accept the official version of events surrounding his daughter’s death he agreed with his ex-wife that they should arrange a funeral before they both died.
On the evening of her death, Miss Smith attended a party at a block of flats in Jeddah and was found dead the following morning in the street with a fellow guest. Police said the couple fell to their deaths while having sex on the sixth-floor balcony.
But Mr Smith claimed there were inconsistencies in official reports and believed his daughter had been murdered.
He campaigned for a full inquiry and won his case in 1982 when the Court of Appeal ruled that inquests should be held into the deaths of Britons who died abroad in violent or unnatural circumstances once their bodies were returned to the UK.
An inquest into Miss Smith’s death was later held in Leeds but the jury returned an open verdict.
A service and cremation will take place at Wakefield, West Yorkshire. Mr Smith said Miss Smith’s ashes will be scattered later on Ilkley Moor in a private ceremony.