Disposal of a corpse with intent to obstruct or prevent a coroner's inquest

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Disposal of a corpse with intent to obstruct or prevent a coroner's inquest is an offence under the common law of England and Wales.[1] The offence is currently very rarely charged.[2] As a common law offence, it is tried on indictment and can be punished by an unlimited fine and/or period of imprisonment.[1]

Conduct amounting to the offence includes: burying the body of anyone who has died a violent death before the coroner has had the opportunity of holding an inquest on it, and preventing the burial of a dead body or disposing of a dead body in order to prevent the holding of an inquest over it in a case where the coroner has reasonable ground for holding an inquest.[3]

It is a separate common law offence to Prevent the lawful (and decent) burial of a body.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Halsbury's Laws of England, volume 24: "Cremation and Burial", paragraph 1104 (5th edition)
  2. ^ Common Law Offences Charged and Reaching a first hearing in Magistrates' Courts, Crown Prosecution Service
  3. ^ Halsbury's Laws of England, volume 24: "Coroners", paragraph 61 (5th edition)
  4. ^ Halsbury's Laws of England, volume 26: "Criminal Law", paragraph 11 (5th edition)