New home for Doncaster Coroner’s Court

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Doncaster coroners have won a 20-year battle to have a better courtroom.

Nicola Mundy and her staff will be moving into accommodation at the Crown Court on College Road at the end of this month.

One of the two court rooms at the Crown Court has not been used since last November when the majority of criminal cases were transferred to Sheffield.

The existing Coroner’s Court on Union Street, a former council office block, has been criticised as inadequate for many years and was originally supposed to be temporary accommodation.

Coun Joe Blackham, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the existing building was not appropriate and more suitable premises were required.

He said: “People encounter the coroner’s service at a very difficult time in their lives and the current premises are simply not up to the standard I expect for our residents.

“The Crown Court building will offer much more suitable facilities and provide the dignity and respect that local people deserve.”

The current premises, which has held coroner’s proceedings since 1994, have only a basic courtroom which cannot accommodate jury inquests.

Councils have a statutory duty to pay for the Coroner’s Court service. In this situation, HM Court Service – which owns the Crown Court - has agreed to make the facilities available on the basis of a pro-rata contribution to the running costs.