Three family members who kept woman's remains at Helmsley property have case dropped

Three family members have been acquitted of preventing the lawful burial of their relative, whose remains were found on a mattress at their home near Malton.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 10:48 am

The body of 49-year-old Rina Yasutake, a talented artist and former Cambridge University student, was discovered at a property in Helmsley on September 25, 2018.

Her sister Yoshika Yasutake, 53, brother Takahiro Yasutake, 48, and mother Michiko Yasutake, 77, were cleared at York Crown Court yesterday (Nov 9) of the allegation of preventing Rina’s lawful burial following a “very unusual” case which had dragged on for more than two years.

Each of the defendants, originally from Japan, had each denied an allegation of preventing the lawful and proper burial of a corpse.

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York Crown Court

This was said to have occurred during a five or six-week period between August and September 2018.

It has yet to be revealed how Rina died.

The defendants, of Bondgate, had been due to face trial in November last year but following multiple adjournments the prosecution ultimately decided to offer no evidence and asked for the case to remain on court file.

Following her death in 2019, tributes were paid to Rina, a former boarding pupil at fee-paying Queen Mary's School in Thirsk.

Former friends described her as a gifted, gregarious and popular student.

Judge Sean Morris, the Recorder of York, ordered the case to remain on the court file in what was a unique decision.