A FATHER who has dedicated the last 30 years to trying to prove his daughter was murdered in Saudi Arabia finally laid her to rest.
Nurse Helen Smith died in May 1979 when she apparently fell from a balcony in the city of Jeddah.
Official investigations claimed the 23-year-old, along with Dutch sea captain Johannes Otten, had accidentally fallen 70ft from a sixth-floor balcony during a party given by a British couple.
A long personal crusade then began by her father Ron – a former policeman in Huddersfield – based on a conviction that his daughter had been murdered.
With demands for a fresh inquiry, Mr Smith refused to bury Helen because her body would one day provide forensic evidence.
Helen was cremated in Wakefield yesterday and her ashes will now be scattered on Ilkley Moor.
Mr Smith refused to believe official reports that his daughter’s death was an accident and, until recently, would not allow her body to be released for burial.
Miss Smith’s remains have since been held in a mortuary in Leeds and this is believed to be the longest time a body has lain unburied in the UK.
Mr Smith, who is now 83, joined his former wife Jeryl for a funeral service at Wakefield Crematorium.
Only close family and invited guests were allowed into the chapel for the service which lasted about 20 minutes.
Miss Smith’s coffin was carried into the service with a wreath of mainly pink flowers on top.
Mr Smith, who is seriously ill with kidney disease, walked slowly into the chapel using a stick to steady himself.
He was wearing a dark overcoat and bright red scarf.
No details of the service or who was at the funeral were released.
Around a dozen people were seen going into the chapel.
Last month Mr Smith, who lives in Leeds, said he agreed with his ex-wife that they should arrange a funeral before they both died.
But he stressed he would never accept the official version of events surrounding his daughter’s death.
On the evening she died, Miss Smith, from Guiseley, attended an illegal drinks 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 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.
Mr Smith has three other children, Graham, David and Beverley.