Dorset Coroner's Service

Following the gradual easing of government restrictions, new working arrangements for our staff have now been introduced.  Certain measures are now in place to ensure the safety and protection of staff entering the office environment which will involve teams working on a rotational basis in the office and remotely.

All enquiries can continue to be sent via email coroner.service@bcpcouncil.gov.uk, however if your query is urgent please phone 01202 454910.


A Coroner is an independent judicial officer, they are assisted by Coroner’s Officers and secretarial staff.

The Coroner investigates and records the causes and circumstances of all deaths where the cause is unknown, or that was violent or unnatural, or occurred whilst the deceased was in lawful custody.

This information is only about our local Coroner, you can find out more about the role of a coroner.

If you are concerned about a death you are entitled to raise these concerns with the Coroner. You can contact the Coroner's Officers at:

Coroner's Office for the County of Dorset
Town Hall
Bournemouth
BH2 6DY

Tel: 01202 454910
Fax 01202 454977

Coroners inquest proceedings

Following the restrictions placed upon the public by the government in March 2020, the Senior Coroner for Dorset made the decision that all inquest hearings listed between 30 March 2020 to 1 September 2020 were to be adjourned but the evidence would remain under review to ascertain if the hearing could be completed by way of admitting evidence entirely under Rule 23 of the Coroner (Inquest) Rules 2013.

This was due to the high risk associated with attendance at court and to tie in with the formal lockdown procedures in place at the Bournemouth Town Hall where the Coroner Courts are operated. Following the gradual easing of government restrictions, the Senior Coroner for Dorset in conjunction with BCP Council have agreed that partial remote inquest hearings will be scheduled and listed.

This will allow for evidence and submissions to be heard by live video link when authorised by the Coroner. Interested persons such as family/friends and associated counsel, where appropriate, will be offered the option to attend proceedings remotely via live video link or in person.

A full risk assessment has been completed on the measures in place to ensure safe attendance at court.

The Coroner's team

The Senior Coroner for Dorset is Mrs Rachael Griffin. The Assistant Coroners are Mr Brendan Allen, Mr Richard Middleton, Mr Stephen Nicholls, Mr Grant Davies, Mrs Victoria Cook and Mrs Deborah Rookes. You can contact them at the Coroner's Court Office.

The Senior Coroner for Dorset covers deaths that occur in the administrative county of Dorset or where the body of a deceased person is found in Dorset, even if they died elsewhere.

The Assistant Coroners act when the Senior Coroner is not available. They have the full powers of the Senior Coroner.

Find out about inquest hearings

You can find all publicly available information here. Please do not contact the Coroner's Court office, staff or police press office as they cannot give you any further information.

Inquests to be opened week commencing 23 November 2020

Location: Coroner's Court, Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth, BH2 6DY

Date    

Deceased

Date of Death

Place of Death 

 Place of Residence

Time of Hearing

 Age

Coroner

Monday 23 November 2020

 

           

Tuesday 24 November 2020

             
Wednesday 25 November 2020              
Thursday 26 November 2020              
Friday 27 November 2020              

Inquests to be held week commencing 23 November 2020


Location: Coroner's Court, Town Hall, Bourne Avenue, Bournemouth,BH2 6DY

Date

Deceased

Date of Death

Place of Death

Place of Residence

Time of Hearing

Age

Coroner

Monday 23 November 2020 Matthew Charles Coghlan 29.11.2019 Bournemouth Ringwood 10.00am 40 Victoria Cook
  Jane Elizabeth Miller 24.08.2020 Blandford Forum Blandford Forum 10.00am 64 Brendan Allen
  Christopher Harry Davidson 01.09.2020 Blandford Forum Blandford Forum 2.00pm 59 Brendan Allen
  James David Garner Roberts 26.03.2020 Shaftesbury Shaftesbury 2.30pm 49 Brendan Allen
  Olga Maria Wilson 22.07.2020 Bournemouth Bournemouth 3.00pm 93 Brendan Allen
Tuesday 24 November 2020  Sandra Tate 14.01.2019 Dorchester New Milton 10.00am 74 Victoria Cook
  Roy Culmer Aston 24.10.2020 Dorchester Weymouth 10.00am 81 Brendan Allen
  Peggy Cecilia Williams 11.09.2020 Poole Swanage 10.30am 91 Brendan Allen
 Wednesday 25 November 2020 Ann Christine Southwell 16.07.2019 Dorchester Weymouth 10.00am 66 Brendan Allen
  Caroline Suzanne Gwinnett 01.01.2020 Bournemouth Bournemouth 3.00pm 48 Brendan Allen
Thursday 26 November 2020 Danusia Ludomira Hutson 04.12.2019 Dorchester Weymouth 10.00am 72 Richard Middleton
  Leslie Phillip Burns 15.12.2019 Poole Poole 10.45am 75 Rachael Griffin
  Gordon Leonard Meekings 06.12.2019 Poole Bournemouth 11.30am 85 Rachael Griffin
Friday 27 November 2020 Gloria Jane Bill 30.07.2019 Spain Weymouth 10.00am 59 Rachael Griffin
  Neil Gordon Blair 04.07.2019 Bournemouth Bournemouth 2.30pm (PIR) 85 Rachael Griffin

If you are researching past cases you have to apply to the Coroner in writing first before you can be given the information you're requesting.

Requests for more information 

For more detailed information and/or copies of documents, you need to explain your relationship to the deceased and why you want the information.

Feedback and complaints

Complaints about a Coroner's decision or the outcome of an Inquest can only be dealt with through proceedings in the High Court. The Coroner's office can explain the procedure, but can't give legal advice.

All complaints about the administration of the Dorset Coroner Service, or the conduct of individual coroners or their officers should first be raised by writing to the senior Coroner.

The Coroner cannot normally discuss cases which she is or has been involved with, but comments and suggestions on improving the Coroner Service are always welcome.