Express & Star

New facilities for bereaved families at Black Country Coroner’s Court

The Black Country Coroner’s Court, located at Jack Judge House in Oldbury, has undergone a number of improvements to benefit the families who may need to use it following the death of a loved one.

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Councillor Syeda Khatun with senior coroner Zafar Siddique and Lorraine Williams.

In addition to a much-improved reception area, a second fully digitised courtroom has now been created to enable witnesses to give their evidence remotely.

Two new family rooms have also been built, allowing bereaved relatives a private space away from the main proceedings. These areas are also used by the jury when considering their verdict.

The new facilities formally opened on October 19.

Attending the opening ceremony were council officers from Dudley, Sandwell and Wolverhampton, as well as the court’s senior coroner, Zafar Siddique, and area coroner Joanne Lees.

They were joined by Sandwell’s cabinet member for public health and communities, Councillor Syeda Khatun, who said: "Having to attend coroner’s court can be a very difficult time for grieving families. However, hopefully these new facilities will help to ease this stress, bringing swift closure to those awaiting answers."

Also in attendance were family members of the late Russell Williams, who served as a coroner’s investigator at the court, before his sudden passing in January 2021. In recognition of his 15 years of service, one of the new family rooms has been named the Williams Room in his memory.

The Williams Room, named after the late Russell Williams, who served as a coroner’s investigator at the court before his sudden passing in January 2021.

The coroner’s court opened at Jack Judge House in 2016 and has been shared between the four Black Country councils (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton) for many years.

To learn more about the Black Country Coroner’s Court, including how to get there and the services offered, visit