Coroner’s service

The coroner is appointed to investigate unexplained deaths, and to conduct inquests where necessary. Coroners can also arrange for post-mortem examinations.

The latest information regarding the coroner's service in Northumberland, and how this service is operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

This information was last updated 26 March 2020.

The Northumberland Coroner's Office remains open, however we are working remotely in response to the COVID-19 virus. 

All information concerning case referals, queries, and any other business should now be sent to our email address: This email address is monitored between 8am and 4pm (Monday to Friday) and we will respond as soon as possible.

Due to the circumstances, all hearings have been adjourned (postponed) until 28 August 2020, as the courts in Northumberland will be closed until then. The Coroner's Officers will be writing out to families on specific matters.

Where inquests are listed with no witnesses, the Coroner's Officers will contact families to check they are happy to go ahead without them in court, and for the evidence to be read under the provisions under Rule 23, so that the inquest can be concluded and families can register the death. 

If you would like to speak to one of the Coroner's Officers directly, they can be contacted on:
  • 07590 018923 (Michael Allen)
  • 07703 449776 (Karen Edger)
  • 07885 264757 (Keith Lamb)
  • 07899 065123 (David Webster)
The coroner is appointed to investigate unexplained deaths, and to conduct inquests where necessary. Coroners can also arrange for post-mortem examinations.

Which deaths are reported to the coroner?

Deaths will be reported if they were:
  • sudden or unexplained
  • unnatural 
  • during an operation, or from not recovering from anaesthetic
  • due to an industrial disease
  • in prison or in police custody 

What happens if the death is referred to the coroner?

  • The circumstances of the death may be discussed with the relatives of the deceased.
  • It will be decided if a post-mortem is necessary.
  • If the coroner requires more information about the circumstances, an inquest will be held.
  • Any paperwork necessary to register the death will be issued by the coroner.

What is an inquest?

  • An enquiry into the medical cause and circumstances of a death.
  • As the conclusion of inquests can take some time, the coroner may issue an interim death certificate.
  • An interim certificate can be presented to anyone asking for a death certificate, but you may be asked to produce the actual certificate once the death has been registered.

After the inquest, how do I get a copy of the death certificate?

  • When the inquest has concluded, you can contact the registrar (in the district where the death took place) and arrange to pick up the certificate.
  • There is a charge of £11 for each certificate.

Do I have to go into the register office for a copy of the death certificate?

  • No. You can purchase certificates over the phone by calling us on 0345 600 6400. You must have your credit/debit card handy.
  • Alternatively, you can make an appointment to attend any of our register offices to pick up a copy.
Please click here for contact details for your local register office.


Guide to Coroner's Services

The government have recently published a guide for bereaved people. The guide includes information about coroner investigation and inquest processes, as well as useful links to services which will provide you with help and support.

Please click here for the Guide to Coroner's Services.

North Northumberland and South Northumberland
Inquests are heard at HM Coroner’s Court, 40 Church Street, Berwick-upon-Tweed by senior coroner Tony Brown, unless otherwise stated.

Some dates are provisional and may be re-listed. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the coroner's office before travelling. If you have any queries about the listings, please telephone 01289 304318.
Hearing date Time Type of hearing Name of the deceased Age Date of
Place of death
Due to the current situation regarding Coronavirus, no inquests are to be listed until further notice.            


HM Senior Coroner for North Northumberland and Acting Senior Coroner for South Northumberland

Mr Tony Brown
17 Church Street
Berwick upon Tweed
TD15 1EE
  • Tel: 01289 304318
  • Fax: 02189 303591

Coroner's PA

Jane Tait

Coroner's Admin Support

Ann Battensby  

Coroner’s Officers

David Webster Keith Lamb Lorraine Jennings/Michael Allan Karen Edger All new referrals and enquiries for North and South Northumberland should be directed to the Coroner's Officers in the first instance. They can be contacted on 0191 437 3222 or via

If there is no reply, or if your call is urgent, please telephone the Coroner's PA on 01289 304318 who will be happy to assist you.