It is the duty of coroners to investigate deaths which are reported to them.
Deaths should be reported to the coroner's officers.
- the deceased died a violent or unnatural death
- the cause of death is unknown, or
- the deceased died while in custody orotherwise in state detention
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.Close
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.
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 on the at the legislation.gov.uk website
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.
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:
Judicial Conduct Investigations Office
81-82 Queens Building
Royal Courts of Justice
The Coroner handed down his decision in relation to the application of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the scope of the inquest touching upon the death of Dawn Kelly Sturgess on 20 December 2019.
Inquest touching upon the death of Dawn Kelly Sturgess. Update 30 January
Pre-Inquest Review listed for 10.00 am 18 February 2020
Following receipt of a notification on 10 January 2020 that a family member of the Sturgess family intends to challenge by way of Judicial Review the ‘Ruling on Scope’ of Senior Coroner Ridley dated 20 December 2019, the Senior Coroner has decided to adjourn the forthcoming Pre-Inquest review pending the outcome of that challenge.
This decision has been taken having regard to the views of both the Sturgess family (including Mr Rowley) and the Home Secretary (both of which supported the decision).
A fresh date for the Pre-Inquest review will be considered by the Senior Coroner as soon as he is able to do so, which will take into account the Judicial Review timetable including the handing down of any judgment relating to the challenge.