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Coroner's Office for Gateshead and South Tyneside


  1. Overview
  2. When a death is reported to a coroner
  3. The inquest process
  4. Report a death to the coroner's office
  5. Contact information


The coroner for Gateshead and South Tyneside has a team of six officers based at the Town Hall and Civic Offices in South Tyneside. 

A coroner's officer receives reports of deaths in the community, hospitals, care settings and prisons or other type of state detentions, and make appropriate inquiries at the direction of the coroner.

A coroner's officer is responsible for investigating a death, from the first report of the death, to the end of the coroner's involvement. They will be your main contact. 

A coroner investigates deaths if they think that the:

  • death was violent or unnatural 
  • cause of death is unknown
  • person died in prison or other type of state detention

When a death is reported to a coroner

When a death is reported to a coroner, they:

  • make inquiries to decide if an investigation is needed, and if it is:
    • investigate to find out the identity of the person who has died; how, when, and where they died; and any information they need to register the death
  • use information found during the investigation to help prevent other deaths

The coroner may decide to hold an inquest as part of the investigation.

The coroner aims to accommodate families' funeral plans and make sure that investigations are effective and complete.

For more information, see GOV.UK: Guide to coroner services.

The inquest process

An inquest must be held as part of an investigation into certain deaths.

A coroner must open an inquest into a death if they suspect that the death was due to anything other than natural causes, or happened in prison or other type of state detention.

An inquest is a public court hearing held by the coroner, to find out:

  • who died
  • when and where the death happened
  • how the death happened

The coroner will:

  • confirm the information needed to register the death
  • confirm the medical cause of death
  • come to a conclusion based on the evidence 

An inquest cannot deal with issues of blame or criminal / civil liability. These can be addressed in other courts if necessary.

The coroner's officer will keep you informed throughout the investigation.

If there will be a jury

An inquest may be held with or without a jury, This will depend on the circumstances of the death.

A jury must be present in cases of unnatural deaths of individuals in prison, or other type of state detention.

There are usually between 7 and 11 jurors present.


Report a death to the coroner's office

Report a death that's happened in Gateshead and South Tyneside:

Report a death to the coroner's office 

If you have any problems accessing or using the portal, please contact 0191 426 8181.

Contact information

  • Coroner's Office
  • South Shields Town Hall and Civic Offices
    Westoe Road
    South Shields
    Tyne and Wear
    NE33 2RL

  • 0191 426 8181

  • 0191 426 8180

The court should be accessed via Beach Road.

If using a navigational device please use the following address: Coroner Office, Town Hall & Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE33 2RL.

For more information on how to get here, see South Shields Town Hall: How to get here.

Contact details for the coroner and coroner's officers

Mr Terence Carney (Her Majesty's Senior Coroner)
Phone: 0191 426 8181

Ms Leila Benyounes (Her Majesty's Assistant Coroner)
Phone: 0191 426 8181

Mrs Laura Whing (Coroner's Officer)
Phone: 0191 426 8183

Ms Jan Iveson (Coroner's Officer)
Phone: 0191 426 8186

Miss Faye Henry (Coroner's Officer)
Phone: 0191 426 8185

Mrs Katie Watson (Coroner's Officer)
Phone: 0191 426 8187

Lyndsay King (Coroner's Officer, currently on maternity leave)

Kaye Forsyth (Coroner's Officer, maternity leave cover)
Phone: 0191 426 8188

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