Coroners Office


Overview of Inquests

A Coroner will undertake an inquest if the cause of death is unknown or if the person:

  • Possibly died a violent or unnatural death.
  • Died in custody or otherwise in state detention.

It is a coroner's duty at an inquest to establish who the deceased was and how, when and where the deceased came by his or her death. It is a fact finding process.  An inquest is not permitted to determine or appear to determine a criminal liability by a named person or civil liability.  It is about what happened, and how it happened, not who was responsible for what happened; this is the responsibility of the civil and criminal courts.

After an inquest the coroner will send the necessary details to the register of births and deaths for the death to be registered when it occurred in England and Wales.

Please note: That if the coroner has decided to investigate a death, registration of the death must wait for the coroner to finish his or her inquiries.  These inquiries may take time, so it is always best to contact the coroner's office before any funeral arrangements are made.

Latest Inquest Dates

We regularly update the list of latest inquest dates. However dates and times can be subject to change at short notice.



HM The Queen has said:

“This is a time when our normal routines and regular patterns of life have to change for the greater good of the communities we live in and protecting the most vulnerable. We have to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts and focus on a common goal.”

The Hearing of Inquests

In order to reduce the risk of transmission of infection during the current Pandemic, as from the 23rd  March 2020 the hearing of all listed Inquests will be adjourned to be relisted and heard at a future date when circumstances permit, but it is not anticipated at this time that they will be heard before 1st  September 2020.

All next-of-kin, Interested Persons and witnesses have now been notified of this change by my Coroner’s Officers.

It is hoped that the necessary restrictions announced by me will be changed and the normal listing and hearing of Inquests will resume as soon as possible. The position will be kept under constant review and at such time that it is safe to resume these hearings, a further announcement will be made.

The circumstances in which deaths still need to be reported to the Coroner remain the same but all decisions and actions required by law, where possible, will be expedited.

I wish to thank the bereaved and all members of the public for their understanding, assistance and cooperation at this most difficult time for us all.

Contact with my Office

Please do not visit the Coroner’s Office in person unless you are specifically advised to do so by one of my Coroners Officers. Please note that none of my Officers are currently working from the Seaclose Offices – they are all working from home, and it is hoped that all matters can be resolved by telephone or email. I will be continuing with my statutory duties, albeit working remotely, and am in constant contact with all of my Officers.

01983 823010