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HM Senior Coroner for Cumbria announces his retirement

[T]he Senior Coroner for Cumbria, Mr David Roberts, has announced he will be retiring from his post in May 2018, after 33 years working as a Coroner in the County.

Mr Roberts began his career when appointed by Adrian Walker as an Assistant Deputy Coroner for West Cumbria in 1985. He became Deputy Coroner to John Taylor in 1995, and was appointed Coroner for North and West Cumbria on Mr Taylor’s retirement in 2009.

By 2018 Mr Roberts will have worked in the legal profession for 40 years, having qualified as a solicitor in 1980. He was Senior Partner in H F T Gough & Co., Whitehaven until 2011, when he left private practice to focus on Coronial work.

He became HM Senior Coroner, covering the entire County in January 2015, following the retirement of Ian Smith, when the area became one coronial jurisdiction.

He has been responsible for investigating upwards of 2300 deaths each year covering an area of some 2600 square miles from St Bees to Stainmore and Barrow to the Scottish Border.

Mr Roberts, who will be 63 in January, says: ”It has been a privilege to serve bereaved families, and the people of Cumbria at the most difficult of times.

“A Coroner’s role is to establish how people have come by their deaths, and I hope I have been able to give families answers and closure following the loss of a loved one.

“There have been a number of notable tragedies in the County in recent years and I could not have done my job without the help and support of so many people, including the Police, County Council, pathology services and my dedicated staff at the Cockermouth office.

“I wish my whoever succeeds me in the role well and hope that they too have the same satisfaction I have had serving the people of Cumbria and the wider community.”

Councillor Stewart Young, Leader of Cumbria County Council, commenting on Mr Robert’s decision to retire, said: “David has been exceptional in his role as the County’s coroner. Cumbria has very much been the benefactor of his exceptional judgment and professionalism and during his time he has successfully overseen some very difficult and challenging cases. I feel that much of this is due to his personal integrity, as well as his calm and measured manner. I can only wish David the very best in his retirement and thank him officially for all he has done.”

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