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, 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

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 21 September 2020

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



Date of Death

Place of Death 

 Place of Residence

Time of Hearing



Monday 21 September 2020

Maurice Evelyn


 27.02.20 Christchurch   Verwood 1.30pm  85  Brendan J Allen 

Eric William Wale

07.09.20 Bournemouth New Milton 1.30pm 66 Brendan J Allen

Tuesday 22 September 2020

 Deborah Rosalind 


 03.08.20 Swanage  Kingston-upon-Thames   1.30pm 49  Brendan J Allen 


Peter McGuiness 

03.08.20 Swanage Kingston-upon-Thames 1.30 pm 54 Brendan J Allen


Brian Hitchins 

13.09.20 Ringwood Ringwood 1.30 pm 73 Brendan J Allen
Wednesday 23 September 2020 Shane  Lloyd Passmore   20.07.20 Bournemouth  Bournemouth   1.30pm 41  Rachael C Griffin 
  Eric Verity 15.09.20 Ferndown Ferndown 1.30pm 88 Rachael C Griffin
Thursday 24 September 2020  Christian McDowell 23.05.20   Poole Poole  1.30pm   Rachael C Griffin 
Friday 25 September 2020              

Inquests to be held week commencing 21 September 2020

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



Date of Death

Place of Death

Place of Residence

Time of Hearing



Monday 21 September 2020              
Tuesday 22 September 2020               
Wednesday 23 September 2020 Gloria Jane Bill 30.07.2019 Alicante Weymouth 2.00 pm(PIR) 59 Rachael Griffin
Thursday 24 September 2020              
Friday 25 September 2020              

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.