Leeds & West Yorkshire

Under investigation West Yorkshire coroner resigns

A coroner who was suspended after complaints about his conduct has resigned.

Peter Straker, based in the Bradford district, is being investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) after several allegations were made against him.

The JCIO said its inquiry would continue despite Mr Straker's resignation.

Mr Straker has been suspended on full pay since February 2013.

It was alleged that he used a taxi driver to transport confidential documents between courts in a carrier bag and he instructed his deputies not to return verdicts of suicide or misadventure even if the facts supported it.

He was also accused of acting inappropriately in court, exercising poor judgement and having problems with his short-term memory.

Suzan Hemingway, Bradford City Council solicitor, said: "The council has been informed that Peter Straker, coroner for West Yorkshire (Western Area), has resigned.

"The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has been conducting an investigation into the Coroner's conduct and it was the decision of the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor to suspend him on full pay during this investigation.

"Bradford Council, along with Calderdale Council and Kirklees Council, funds the district coroner's service but the investigation, its processes and outcomes are not in the council's jurisdiction."

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