READING Borough Council has appointed Heidi Connor as the new Senior Coroner for Berkshire.
The appointment follows an open competition and the consent of the Chief Coroner and Lord Chancellor. Heidi will take up the position in August 2018.
Mrs Connor is a solicitor and currently sits as Assistant Coroner for Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. She has previously held assistant positions in Derbyshire, Birmingham and Solihull.
Heidi brings a wealth of experience of inquests and coronial law and is a Course Director for the Chief Coroner’s Training Group. In her legal practice she worked in clinical negligence and inquest work on behalf of the NHS. She holds a science degree and a forensic medicine qualification.
Mrs Connor will take over from the retiring Senior Coroner, Peter Bedford, who has served as Berkshire Coroner since 2004 and as an assistant since 1999.
Heidi Connor said: “It will be a great honour to serve the people of Berkshire as their coroner. I look forward to working with the experienced team of officers, staff and assistant coroners to maintain the excellent standard of service which I have inherited.”
Councillor Jo Lovelock, Leader of Reading Borough Council, who leads on the service on behalf of the unitary authorities in Berkshire, said: “Heidi brings significant experience from her work as a solicitor and assistant coroner in other parts of the country. She was appointed following an extremely competitive recruitment process and I am sure she will be a great asset to the Berkshire Coroner’s Service.”
“Our retiring Senior Coroner Peter Bedford has been exceptional in his role and I would like to take this opportunity to officially thank him for all he has done.
“Peter has provided an invaluable service for families across the county, giving support and answers to the bereaved when they needed it most. He has shown outstanding professionalism and judgement whilst always maintaining a calm and measured manner. I would like to wish Peter the very best in his retirement.”
Peter Bedford said: “It has been a privilege to act as Coroner in Berkshire but I could not have conducted this challenging role without the substantial help and support of my dedicated and professional officers and staff. I have also been greatly assisted by the understanding and resourcing of Reading Borough Council as the lead unitary authority for the service. I would like to welcome Heidi to her new role and wish her every success. I am confident that she will be an outstanding Senior Coroner.”
Photos of Heidi Connor and Peter Bedford available on request