Teesside coroner Michael Sheffield avoids disciplinary action

Michael Sheffield Michael Sheffield, who is in his 80s, has resisted regular calls to resign

Related Stories

A two-year investigation into inquest delays on Teesside has found no evidence to suggest the area's coroner was to blame for the backlog.

The Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) said no disciplinary action was necessary against Michael Sheffield.

He has been issued with "informal advice" by the Lord Chief Justice on keeping delays "continuously under review", a OJC spokeswoman said.

Tom Blenkinsop MP said the OJC had failed to take "decisive action".

The OJC investigation began in August 2011 but was deferred while Middlesbrough Council considered the issue.

The inquiry considered the findings of the council scrutiny panel report which found inquests on Teesside took an average of 44 weeks to be fully completed, compared to a national average of 27 weeks.

'Service in crisis'

Mr Blenkinsop, Labour MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said: "Mr Sheffield has been in charge of a service in crisis for many years and failed to resolve the situation.

"As such, I would continue to urge him to retire, for his own sake, for the coroner service's sake, and for the sake of grieving families on Teesside."

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton said Cleveland Police and Mr Sheffield, who is in his 80s, were now "working together to deliver service improvements".

"When I first became involved both sides were barely on speaking terms," he said.

"Now things are much improved and we all need to work together to deliver the quality of service residents rightly expect."

The coroner's office could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Mr Sheffield's deputy Tony Eastwood has previously insisted changes to the service - including an improved working relationship with Cleveland Police - would have a positive impact.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Tees

Weather

Middlesbrough

Min. Night 13 °C

Features

  • Children in Africa graphicBaby steps

    Why are more children in Africa living beyond five?


  • Olive oil and olivesFood myth

    Did 1950s Britain get its olive oil from a pharmacy?


  • Rio Ferdinand and David Moyes'Playing to win'

    Memorable quotes from sporting autobiographies BBC Sport


  • Hand washing to contain Ebola in LiberiaEbola virus

    More action is needed to tackle Ebola, say experts


  • shadow of people kissing on grassOutdoor love

    Should the police intervene when people have sex in public?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.