A BOLTON solicitor is set to become the youngest senior coroner in England and Wales.

Rachael Griffin is assistant coroner at Bolton Coroner’s Court but is leaving to take up the new post in Dorset in February.

The 36-year-old mother of one from Heaton said: “I have been in Bolton all my life. It has been great to be able to help the people of Bolton, Salford and Wigan with bereavement and find the answers to the unexplained.

“There are circumstances where it is very difficult to determine what has happened. It’s about trying to establish the facts.

“So far I have overseen about 332 investigations this year and I have done in excess of 600 in all.”

Mrs Griffin attended Clevelands Preparatory School and then Bolton School before studying law at Nottingham Trent University.

She specialised in criminal defence cases and prison law with Russell and Russell Solicitors in Bolton and was appointed assistant coroner for Manchester West in June 2014. Helping senior coroner Professor Jennifer Leeming and area coroner Alan Walsh, she sits for three half days and two full days at the court based at Paderborn House in Bolton town centre.

She said: “I have always been interested in medicine and law and at university I completed one of the medical law options on my course and I decided to go into law and become a solicitor.

“When the opportunity arose in Bolton two-and-a-half years ago [to become a coroner] it was the perfect time to apply.”

In her new role she will be running the Dorset coroner’s office which is quieter than Manchester West with just a senior coroner and three assistants, but it is likely to be come increasingly busy.

Mrs Griffin said: “There are only 92 coronial districts so these opportunities don’t arise frequently. It means I’m probably the youngest in the country to be senior coroner and I’m very pleased to be able to take up the role.

“I’m very grateful for the help I have had from the coroner’s officers and staff. We’ll be sad to leave Bolton, family and friends behind and I’m very excited about the new challenge.

“Dorset is a beautiful part of the country where the people are very welcoming.

“My husband was from there and spent the majority of his childhood in the South of England and we’re all looking forward as a family to moving down.”

During her tenure in Bolton, Mrs Griffin has issued 12 ‘preventing future death’ reports designed to challenge and change practices to prevent future avoidable fatalities.

Her recommendations have prompted the improvement of medicine-issuing procedures in care homes and increased security and safety around local railway lines.