Coroner’s suspension creates vacuum at Camden court

The suspension of Camden’s chief coroner for hiring his unqualified wife has left a vacuum at the top of the borough’s service.

Former assistant deputy coroner Suzanne Greenaway resigned after it emerged she had gaps in her CV. Her husband Dr Andrew Reid was suspended from duties last week over the incident.

However, no-one is able to fill the posts until the Office For Judicial Complaints (OJC) has finished its investigations into the conduct of Dr Reid as only the chief coroner has the power to appoint a new coroner.

The inner north London deputy coroner and an assistant deputy coroner have been left to cover inquests at St Pancras Coroners’ Court.

A Camden Council spokesman said: “Only the coroner can appoint and, as he is suspended, no more appointments can be made.”

It is understood the disruption to staffing at Camden’s coroners service has not caused any delays to inquests.

Ms Greenaway, who presided over 12 inquests including that of Amy Winehouse, stepped down from her post in November after it was discovered her experience did not meet the requirements for the role.

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Her past experience as a barrister in Australia could not be taken into account and she had practised as a lawyer in the UK for less than five years.

The OJC confirmed last week that Dr Reid has been suspended and will not oversee any further inquests while an inquiry takes place.

If any wrongdoing is discovered the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor Ken Clarke can sack, reprimand or warn the coroner.

A spokeswoman for the OJC said; “The Office For Judicial Complaints has been made aware of the concerns in relation to the appointment of the Ms Suzanne Greenaway as assistant deputy coroner by the inner north London coroner and has commenced a conduct investigation.”

Dr Reid apologised last week and offered to rehear the inquests that his wife oversaw. So far no family has approached the Kings Cross courthouse to have their relative’s case reopened.