Senior Coroner for Essex announces retirement and new appointment to the post

Senior Coroner for Essex announces retirement and new appointment to the post

Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray OBE is retiring from the post of HM Senior Coroner for Essex early next year.

Mr Lincoln Brookes has been appointed as the new HM Senior Coroner for Essex.

Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray OBE is stepping down after twenty years as HM Senior Coroner for Essex. During this time, she has become a high-profile and respected figure, dealing with many cases of national and international importance which often set legal precedent. She was the national President of the Coroners Society of England and Wales 2018-2019.

With over 7,500 reported deaths a year, Essex is one of the busiest and most complex jurisdictions in the country. Well known for her commitment to press and public access to Coroner’s proceedings, for much of this time of Covid-19 she has continued to preside at inquests.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to serve for over twenty years as HM Senior Coroner in this amazingly rich and diverse county of Essex. Throughout, as an independent judicial officer, I have been serving the bereaved and others affected by often the most tragic of circumstances.

“It has been an honour to have been able to engage with people all over the county. I would like to express gratitude for the support which I have received from Essex Police Chief Constables and their officers of all ranks. I would like to acknowledge the encouragement which I have received from the Lord Lieutenant and from the High Sheriffs.”

“As I retire, I want to express my deep gratitude to my coronial team: my two area coroners and three assistant coroners, together with the coroners’ officers and administrative staff. I need too to express my appreciation to the Essex Coroners Court Support Service, which for seventeen years has been staffed by a dedicated team of volunteers. In addition, I am grateful for the support of Essex County Council which has provided resources to enable me to carry out my ancient and historic role.

“I have worked with Mr Brookes for almost a year and am confident that I am leaving the Essex Coroner Service in capable hands.”

For almost a year Mr Lincoln Brookes has been working as an Area Coroner for Essex. After completing a law degree at Queen Mary University of London, Mr Brookes worked for 27 years as a barrister, before moving into work as a full-time Coroner.

Mr Brookes said: “It is a great honour to be selected for the post of Senior Coroner for Essex. It is one of the most populous and dynamic counties in the country. I hope to carry out my duties in the exemplary manner of Mrs Beasley-Murray, who has set a very high standard as HM Senior Coroner."

Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Customer, Corporate, Culture and Communities, said: “Mrs Beasley-Murray will be sadly missed at Seax House and County Hall.

“She has served the people of Essex with great distinction and has brought a humour and warmth to a very difficult role. It is no understatement to say my fellow councillors and I will miss her greatly.”

Picture Caption: Mrs Caroline Beasley-Murray OBE, who is retiring early next year from the post of HM Senior Coroner for Essex, a post she has held for 20 years.

Last updated 24 November 2020