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New coroner's pledge to bereaved families.

Byline: Jane Tyler Staff reporter jane.tyler@trinitymirror.com

A NEWLY-appointed Midland coroner has pledged to use digital technology to make the post mortem process less traumatic for families.

Zafar Siddique is taking over over from the current long-standing Black Country coroner Robin Balmain, who is retiring in September. Lawyer Mr Siddique has been an Assistant Coroner for Coventry and Warwickshire since 2010, and is currently the Deputy Coroner for Birmingham and Solihull.

He said he was thrilled to get the job and was looking forward to starting in a couple of months.

"I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to serve the diverse communities of the Black Country and wish to build upon the work of the retiring Coroner, Mr Balmain," he said.

He also said he was going to "fully exploit" the new "scalpel-free" way of doing post mortem examinations.

This is where the body is examined using digital scanning, thus avoiding the need to cut it open.

"I am keen to fully exploit the use of digital working - including pioneering the use of digital imaging - and delivering a timely and effective coronial service by putting the families of the bereaved at the heart of the inquest process," he said.

Before he became a coroner, Mr Siddique worked in medical genetics, as a solicitor and as Chief Crown Prosecutor for Warwickshire and Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for the West Midlands.

He takes on one of the largest coroner's patches in the UK - covering all sudden and suspicious deaths in Sandwell, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton.

Sandwell Council deputy leader, Coun Mahboob Hussain, welcomed him to the role.

"This is an excellent appointment and we look forward to working closely with Mr Siddique," he said.

"Many people don't see the hard work that goes on behind the scenes - particularly the work the Coroner does with families, so often in very diffi-cult circumstances.

"I'd also like to extend my thanks to the outgoing Coroner."

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 13, 2014
Words:330
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