Senior Wakefield coroner David Hinchliff reprimanded over 'inappropriate' remarks

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A senior coroner at Wakefield has been reprimanded over remarks made to police officers and staff members.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) said “inappropriate” comments made by David Hinchliff on more than one occasion amounted to serious misconduct.

The watchdog had confirmed last February that it was investigating a complaint made against Mr Hinchliff.

It was understood that the complaint related to comments made at the inquest into the death of Kevin Ellis, a West Yorkshire Police officer who took his own life following his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children.

Announcing its decision, a JCIO spokesman yesterday said: “Senior Coroner David Hinchliff has been issued with a reprimand following an investigation which established that he made inappropriate remarks on three occasions to police officers and members of staff.”

The spokesman said the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor agreed it amounted to serious misconduct.

Mr Hinchliff said: “I accept the finding of the JCIO and I am grateful to all concerned for their help and support.”

The coroner, who is due to retire in March, has handled more than 100,000 reported deaths during his 30-year career.