Buckinghamshire coroner Richard Hulett announces retirement and replacement

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Bucks’ coroner Richard Hulett is to retire after a career which has taken in both tragedies and treasure.

Mr Hulett, 66, will be succeeded by former assistant coroner Crispin Butler when he retires on April 1.

In his 25 years of service, Mr Hulett estimates that he has worked with the families of 30,000 people who have died in the county.

He also oversaw the move to centralise the service onto a single Beaconsfield Magistrates Court site, and saw the site be used as a police station set in the Midsomer Murders TV show.

But a, perhaps lesser known part of the coroner’s role is to record finds of treasure. Most recently, Mr Hulett presided over the inquest into the discovery of 5,248 late Saxon silver pennies in North Bucks in a find known as The Lenborough Hoard.

Mr Hulett said: “I’m proud to have served our residents over 25 years, and hope that I’ve made what is a formal legal process much more manageable for families at difficult times in their lives.”

The corner, who is by profession a solicitor, says he will spend time in his retirement travelling in Europe, the Far East, Africa and South America

Mr Butler, 46, has been assistant coroner for 15 years, and a local solicitor since 1993.

Being Buckinghamshire born, bred and educated, he knows the county and its people well.

And he says that his aim will be to develop his predecessor’s focus on keeping the family at the heart of the service.

Mr Butler said: “It’s a privilege to hold such a unique judicial post and it’s a role I certainly do not take lightly.

“There’s nothing more fundamental to a family than the death of one of its members in whatever circumstances, and the manner in which we react to their needs is crucial to their journey through bereavement.

“Richard Hulett is a hard act to follow, but this is a task for which I am more than willing to dedicate all of my time and abilities.”

Martin Phillips, cabinet member for community engagement and public health, said: “Richard has been an excellent coroner, dedicated to his role and profession, and I thank him on behalf of Buckinghamshire residents.

“Crispin has been assistant coroner for 15 years in Buckinghamshire and brings a wealth of experience to the role, and I’m sure he will continue to modernise and improve the service.”