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Coroners: Teesside

Justice written question – answered on 10th September 2013.

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Photo of Tom Blenkinsop Tom Blenkinsop Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the status is of the Office for Judicial Complaints' investigation into HM Coroner for Teesside.

Photo of Helen Grant Helen Grant The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Women and Equalities

The Office for Judicial Complaints' investigation into Mr Michael Sheffield, HM Coroner for Teesside has concluded. The Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. Friend Chris Grayling, considered the findings of investigations undertaken by Middlesbrough Council's Community Safety and Leisure Scrutiny Committee into the Teesside Coroner's Service and a report prepared by the Probation Service (Business Development Team).

We are of the view that there is no evidence to suggest that the delays have been caused as a result of Mr Sheffield's conduct and concluded that no formal disciplinary action is required. However, the Lord Chief Justice has issued informal advice to Mr Sheffield on the importance of keeping the issues of backlog and delay continuously under review.

A press statement regarding the outcome of the investigation was placed on the Office for Judicial Complaints website on 9 September. The local MPs who have previously raised PQs regarding Mr Sheffield's conduct have been personally informed of the outcome.

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