ESSEX'S first dedicated coroner’s courtroom was officially opened on Friday.

The courtroom, in Victoria Road South, Chelmsford, caters for the needs of those who have lost family and friends.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held by the Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre, High Sheriff Julia Abel Smith and former High Sheriff Lady Rosemary Ruggles-Brise.

Senior Coroner for Essex Caroline Beasley–Murray said: “This new facility is helping us provide support to people at what is an extremely difficult time.

"I'd like to thank everyone involved who has made this possible – it's a fitting development at a time of national coronial reform and is helping to deliver the high quality service Essex deserves.

"The people of Essex – in particular the bereaved – are being provided with an improved, more efficient and more sensitive service.”