Bournemouth appoints a new Coroner for Dorset

Posted on Thursday 8th December 2016

Bournemouth appoints a new Coroner for Dorset

Following the announcement that Sheriff Payne, Senior Coroner for Dorset, will retire in early 2017, Bournemouth Council are delighted to announce the appointment of Rachael Griffin who will become the new Senior Coroner for the County upon his retirement. This appointment was ratified by Bournemouth’s Full Council on 6th December.

Rachael who was born in Bolton, graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a law degree and completed her legal practice at the University of Central Lancashire, became a solicitor for one of the leading law firms in the North West of England, specialising in criminal and prison law. Rachael leaves her position as Assistant Coroner in Manchester West to take over her Dorset role in February 2017.

As part of a tri-partite arrangement covering the whole of Dorset County, Rachel will be hosted in Bournemouth and will act as Coroner for the County representing Bournemouth Borough Council, Borough of Poole, and Dorset County Council.

All three councils would like to thank Sheriff Payne for his 16 years of dedicated service as Dorset’s Coroner and wish him well for his retirement.

The Chief Coroner, an office created by the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, is head of the coroner system, providing national leadership for coroners in England and Wales.

Following the introduction of this legislation, all coroner appointments are now made by the relevant Local Authority in charge of the coroner area for which the senior coroner has responsibility.

Where a senior coroner vacancy arises the relevant local authority must appoint a new senior coroner under section 23 paragraph 1(1) of Schedule 3 of the 2009 Act.

Once a candidate is proposed for appointment the formal written consent of the Chief Coroner and, separately, the Lord Chancellor, must be obtained.

There are usually about 500,000 registered deaths in England and Wales every year; 45% of all registered deaths are reported to coroners. The vast majority of cases reported to the coroner are signed off after preliminary inquiries, with or without a post-mortem examination, as being deaths from natural causes.

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