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Deaths reported to the coroner

Information and contact details for the Coroner Service for Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon.

It is the duty of the Coroner to investigate deaths reported to them. The Coroner will investigate a death which:

  • is sudden and of unknown cause
  • appears to be due to violence
  • appears to be unnatural or suspicious
  • occur in legal custody

Around 60% of the deaths in Torbay are reported to the Coroner. In most cases no further investigation is necessary and the registration can be completed.

It is the responsibility of the Coroner to make enquiries which will establish:

  • who the deceased was
  • when and where he or she died
  • how he or she died

Coroners investigate sudden or unexplained death by organising post mortems and holding inquests.

Contacting the Coroner

Next of kin enquiries: 01752 487402 (answerphone available)

Reporting of deaths in Torbay and South Devon: 01752 487404/01752 487405

Administration office: 01752 204636 (8:30am to 5pm)

Email: hmcoroner@plymouth.gov.uk

Address

Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon Coroner's Office
Derriford Business Park
Plymouth
PL6 5QZ

Opening times
Day Opening hours
Monday 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
1:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Tuesday 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
1:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Wednesday 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
1:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Thursday 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
1:00 pm to 3:15 pm
Friday 7:30 am to 12:30 pm
1:00 pm to 2:45 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Post mortems

When the post mortem is completed, the coroner will be sent a report on the causes of death that were found.

The coroner will review the information:

  • if the death is due to natural causes, the coroner will issue paperwork to the registrar, so the death can be registered. No further action will be taken.
  • if the post mortem shows an unnatural cause of death, or if the cause of death is still not known they will hold an inquest

Inquests

Inquests are held in public (sometimes with a jury). Relatives can attend and ask questions but usually only about the medical cause and circumstances of the death.

If there is a delay between the death and the inquest the coroner may issue an interim death certificate. You can use this to tell organisations, such as banks or insurance companies, that the person has died.

Once an inquest has been held the coroner will write to the registrar to tell them the inquest has been completed. The death will be registered without anyone having to attend.

They will also write to the next of kin or executor to tell them the registrar has been notified of the death and how to apply for a death certificate.

There is a guide to coroner services which is mainly for people who have been bereaved but others involved in or affected by an inquest may also find it helpful.

Find an upcoming inquest

Contact Registrars