The Coroner for Suffolk

Find out who the Coroner for Suffolk is, and what this role entails; as well as information about Assistant Coroners and Coroner's Officers.

Dr. Peter Dean is HM Senior Coroner for Suffolk. 

He is assisted in his duties by Mr Nigel Parsley - Area Coroner and Assistant Coroner's

  • Mr Kevin McCarthy
  • Dr Dan Sharpstone
  • Mrs Jacqueline Devonish

Browse the tabs below to find out more about the role of the Coroner in Suffolk.

What is a Coroner?

Coroners are judicial office holders. They are independent and appointed directly by the Crown.

They are responsible for investigating deaths in Suffolk to find out how, when and where they occurred.

They are qualified with substantial experience as a lawyer or doctor (or sometimes both).

Assistant Coroners are part-time appointments - which the post holders combine with other professional duties.

What does a Coroner do?

The Coroner will investigate a death if:

  • it was violent, unnatural or suspicious
  • the cause of death is unknown
  • the person died in prison, police custody or any type of state detention

Investigating a death may be as simple as consulting with the doctor who last treated the person who has died, or a post mortem examination may be needed.

In some cases, an inquest may be opened, which is a judicial inquiry into the death.

You can read more about the work of a Coroner on the Ministry of Justice website.

What is a Coroner's Officer?

The Coroner has a team of officers. They liaise on his behalf with bereaved relatives, police, doctors, mortuary staff, hospital bereavement staff and funeral directors.

Coroner's Officers are the people you will speak to when you get in touch with the office.

If an inquest is opened into your relative's death, one particular officer will take responsibility for the case. They will then be your ongoing point of contact.

Further information

A guide to the coroner services is available on GOV.UK.