West Yorkshire coroner cleared after misconduct investigation

STOOD DOWN Former coroner Dr Peter Straker.
STOOD DOWN Former coroner Dr Peter Straker.

A former West Yorkshire coroner has been cleared of misconduct following an investigation.

The investigation into Dr Peter Straker began in February 2013 after complaints about the way he conducted inquests.

After being suspended on full pay, he resigned one year into the investigation on March 6 this year, before a report into his conduct was submitted to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice in March.

A statement released this week by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: “In this case the investigating judge made a recommendation of removal on the grounds of incapacity, not on the grounds of misbehaviour.

“In these circumstances, the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice have not made a finding of misconduct in relation to the complaints against Dr Straker.”

The coroner was based in Bradford, but had a remit covering North Kirklees. He was appointed in July 2012 following the retirement of Roger Whittaker.

He was based in Bradford Magistrates Court.

Members of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS) in Batley raised concerns about Dr Straker in 2012, as they felt he delayed Muslim ceremonies by ordering too many post-mortem examinations.

The petition had gained 5,000 signatures by the time the investigation began in February 2013.