AS of Tuesday, senior coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton, David Morris, will retire from his role after 23 years serving the county.David, 72, first became a coroner for Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire in 1987 before moving to Beds as a deputy in 1990, and became full coroner two years later.Speaking with Bedfordshire on Sunday about his career, he says: “It is not a job for everybody. A coroner’s job is 24/7 and I regularly get calls in the middle of the night.“My first case in Bedfordshire was the first time I had actually seen a body. It was in Eggington and I turned up at 5am to a field where some man who lived nearby had had his head shot off and there was blood and gore everywhere.
“Since then I have got used to seeing bodies. However if anyone were to cut themselves here and now, I would most likely feint at the sight of blood.”David, who lives in Buckinghamshire, previously sat at courts in Luton, Dunstable and Bedford before moving to The Old Court House in Ampthill earlier this month.Up until June he was also a judge presiding over mental health appeals and previously had his own law practice in Bedford.He will be succeeded by his deputy and Milton Keynes coroner, Tom Osborne, on Tuesday.He said: “Having made the decision I will be sorry to go as I enjoy it here.“In 2009 the new Coroners Act said coroners had to retire at the age of 70, but because I have been a coroner for so long I am one of the few they can’t force to retire, in theory I could go on forever.
“New legislation means more decisions have to be made on a daily basis and it got to a stage where I needed to come into the office every day while going between Huntingdon and Ampthill so I decided I would quit while I was ahead.”After retiring from Bedfordshire this week, David Morris will continue on as coroner for Cambridgeshire where he started but hopes to fully retire by April 2015.