New county Coroner for Buckinghamshire

Richard Hulett (66) retires as Buckinghamshire’s Coroner after 25 years presiding over the county’s inquests, and will be succeeded by his Assistant Coroner, Crispin Butler, on April 1.

In this time Richard estimates his work has touched the deaths of more than 30,000 people in the county.

He has overseen the move to centralise the service on one site, at the old Beaconsfield Magistrates Court – the location was Causton police station for many an episode of television’s Midsomer Murders.

But inquests are not just about recording a verdict on someone’s death, the Coroner also presides over Treasure finds.

Richard recalls his great interest in presiding over the inquest into the discovery of a hoard of 5,248 late Saxon silver pennies by a metal detecting group in Lenborough, north Buckinghamshire in 2014.

Today, Coroner, court and administration are in one place, which has created greater efficiency in dealing with cases.

Richard 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.’

Richard, by profession a solicitor, will spend time in his retirement travelling in Europe, the Far East, Africa and South America

Crispin 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. His aim will be to develop his predecessor’s focus on keeping the family at the heart of the service.

Crispin 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.’