It is the duty of coroners to investigate deaths which are reported to them.
What a coroner investigates
- appear to be due to violence
- are unnatural
- are of sudden and of unknown cause
- occur in prison or police custody.
The medical and legal inquiry held in public is called an inquest. It is not a trial or a court of blame and its purpose is aimed at finding out who the deceased was, and how, when and where they died.
At the end of the final hearing, the next of kin will be provided with an explanation about how, where and when a copy of the death certificate can be obtained.
Explanations for the procedures adopted in particular cases will be given, on request, where the coroner is satisfied that the person has a proper interest.
The Wiltshire & Swindon Coroner
Her Majesty’s Coroner for Wiltshire & Swindon is Mr David Ridley.
Coroner’s Service Office Manager – Mrs Ann Corcoran MBE
Inquiries not requiring an inquest
If a death is reported which does not need an inquest - when death was a result of natural disease or illness - a certificate giving the cause of death will be sent to the registrar of deaths sometimes following an examination after death, a post mortem.
The Treasure Act 1996
All finds of treasure within the jurisdiction of Wiltshire & Swindon must be reported your local museum within 14 days after the find was made or it was realised that the find might be treasure - for example, after having it identified, who will in turn notify the coroner.
Definitions of treasure can be found at the legislation.gov.uk website
Feedback and complaints
Coroners will not normally enter into correspondence about the cases they have completed, but comments and suggestions on improving the Coroner's Service are always welcome.
Complaints about a coroner's decision or the outcome of an inquest can only be dealt with through the High Court. The Coroner's Office will be able to explain the procedure on request, but cannot give legal advice.
Complaints about the service
All complaints about the administration of the Wiltshire & Swindon Coroner's Service, the conduct of individual coroners, administrative staff or their officers and should be raised in the first instance with the coroner.
If the coroner fails to deal with the complaint satisfactorily, you may refer it to:
for Judicial Complaints
4th Floor, Clive House
Last updated: 8 January 2013