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Japanese family who kept mummified remains of dead artist for six WEEKS NOT to be prosecuted

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A Japanese family accused of hiding the ‘mummified’ remains of their relative in a bedroom six weeks after her death are not being prosecuted.

Rina Yasutake, 49, a talented artist believed to have attended Cambridge University, was found lying on a mattress in a terraced house in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, in September 2018.

Already in an advanced state of decomposition, she was held for six weeks after her death by her mother Michiko Yasutake, 78, sister Yoshika Yasutake, 55, and brother Takahiro Yasutake, 49.

North Yorkshire police officers made the discovery after being tipped off by local dispensary workers who said the woman’s brother and sister had bought large quantities of liquor and “smelled like dead bodies,” the court was told.

Michiko, Yoshika and Takahiro pleaded not guilty last October to preventing the lawful and proper burial of a corpse without a lawful excuse.

But Sean Morris, the York recorder, ruled Tuesday that the charges against the three defendants should be on file.

“These three defendants suffer from an extremely rare mental condition that has created a unique situation for the criminal justice system,” the judge said.

Rina Yasutake, 49, a talented artist believed to have attended Cambridge University, was found lying on a mattress in a terraced house in Helmsley, North Yorkshire, in September 2018.

The Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence to the York Crown Court and Jonathan Sandiford, QC, said it was not in the public interest to continue a trial.

In an October 2019 court hearing, District Attorney Sarah Tyrer said police found Rina’s remains after a pharmacist at Helmsley Surgery Medical Center told police she had “serious concerns” about the amount of surgical spirit a Japanese couple bought .

She added: “It was said that they used it to cleanse a person named Rina Yasutake.

‘The pharmacist noticed – and I quote – that they smelled of corpses.

“Later that same day, police visited the address and found the deceased in one of the bedrooms of the property, lying on a mattress in an advanced state of decomposition to the point of apparent mummification.”

It is believed that Rina was dead for about six weeks before she was found. North Yorkshire Police have not released any details about how Rina died.

A major police operation was launched in Helmsley after her remains were found, with police in forensic suits searching the property for days in September 2018.

Local people described the family as “withdrawn” and many were unaware that Rina lived at the address as she had never been seen in the city.

On Tuesday, Sandiford said any sentence after trial would be limited to a warrant or an outright dismissal.

The charge they faced was a common law offense which in some cases can be punished with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both.

She was held for up to six weeks by her mother Michiko Yasutake, 78, sister Yoshika Yasutake, 55, and brother Takahiro Yasutake, 49 (all pictured).  On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the charges against the three defendants must be on file

She was held for up to six weeks by her mother Michiko Yasutake, 78, sister Yoshika Yasutake, 55, and brother Takahiro Yasutake, 49 (all pictured). On Tuesday, a judge ruled that the charges against the three defendants must be on file

Judge Morris ruled that the charges will be left on file, on the understanding that the three defendants would accept any benefits or visits from social services or the police.

Craig Hassall, QC, of ​​the Yasutakes, said, “All three defendants consent to that order.”

He said his decision to leave the case on file was due to “very unusual circumstances.”

Judge Morris added: “The crown accepts that if this goes to trial, the prosecution would not stand in the way of a jury handing down a not guilty verdict on the grounds of insanity.

“The criminal courts would cost a lot of time and money in these difficult times, while there really would be no end to it.”

Last year, Rina was honored after her body was discovered, with her former classmate Sarah Matthews describing her as a “hardworking teenager” and an “amazing performer.”

Ms Matthews said that from September 1980 to July 1986 she attended Queen Mary’s independent girls’ boarding school on the Duncombe Park estate near Helmsley with Rina.

She said, “I shared a dorm room with Rina and another student for two years. Rina was a hardworking teenager with a bright academic future, she was a great artist and a sweet girl.

‘She was quiet and eager to learn, but had a good sense of humor. She participated in all aspects of school life. I am so shocked and saddened by her death.’

Ms Matthews said Rina was highly academic at school and in 1986 won a sixth-grade scholarship at Wycombe Abbey School in Buckinghamshire in the subjects of History, English, Latin and Greek.

Ms Matthews said she believed Rina went to Cambridge University after Wycombe Abbey.

Rina and her family lived in Nunnington, North Yorkshire, before moving to Helmsley in 1998, she added.

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