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Coroners: Wiltshire

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to increasing funding for Wiltshire coroners court to assist with military inquests. (150164)

Since 1 April 2007 the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner has transferred the majority of the inquests which have been repatriated via RAF Lyneham in his jurisdiction to coroners closer to the deceased’s next of kin. I am keeping the handling of these inquests under review and reporting to the House quarterly on progress. The Secretary of State and I plan to meet the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner before the recess. MOJ and MOD officials will also be meeting the coroner, Wiltshire county council and Wiltshire constabulary shortly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many military inquests were carried out by the (a) Oxfordshire coroner and (b) Wiltshire coroner in each year since 2003. (150165)

The following table gives information on completed military inquests as provided by the Oxfordshire and Swindon and Wiltshire coroners’ offices.

Oxfordshire

Swindon and Wiltshire

2003

1

8

2004

2

0

2005

17

6

2006

36

2

2007

43

0

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many military inquests are pending in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) Wiltshire. (150166)

As of today there are 54 military inquests pending in the Oxfordshire coroner’s jurisdiction and 24 inquests pending in the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner’s jurisdiction. There is no backlog in Wiltshire. The vast majority of these inquests relate to deaths in the last 12 months, with many inquests relating to deaths in the last six months.