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New State Coroner for NSW

Publication date: Wednesday, 11 April 2018

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A former Police Prosecutor with a legal career spanning three decades has been appointed as the new State Coroner of NSW, Attorney General Mark Speakman announced today.

Magistrate Leslie Mabbutt will become State Coroner having served on the bench for 12 years in the Local Court and Children's Court.

"Over the past five years Magistrate Mabbutt has been the coordinating Magistrate of Sydney's Central Local Court, the busiest custody court in NSW. Along with his judicial experience, Magistrate Mabbutt's history as a police officer and police prosecutor will be a valuable asset to the Coroner's Court," Mr Speakman said.

Magistrate Mabbutt wasn't always a man of the law, beginning his working life in 1977 as a chef. He then joined the NSW Police Force in 1985.

In 1997, he became the Executive Officer to the Chief Magistrate, providing support to more than 135 magistrates across the state. In 2006, he joined the Local Court bench, presiding at Local Courts across metro and suburban Sydney and the Illawarra.

He conducts training sessions on bail and domestic violence, has written chapters for the Judicial Commission's Local Court Bench Book and mentors newly appointed magistrates.

Mr Speakman said the State Coroner is vital to the NSW justice system.

"Our coroners, under the leadership of the State Coroner, make important recommendations that can help save lives and prevent future tragedies," he said.

"The appointment of a new State Coroner, and the NSW Government's $91.5 million Forensic Medicine and Coroner's Court at Lidcombe to open next year, will reinvigorate the coronial jurisdiction."

The new world-class facility, on track to open next year, will double the number of courtrooms, improve coronial services, and include state of the art technology. It is the largest investment in coronial and forensic services in the history of New South Wales.

Magistrate Mabbutt will begin his five year term as the State Coroner on Monday 16 April. He takes over from Magistrate Teresa O'Sullivan who has been acting in the position since Magistrate Michael Barnes took up a new position as NSW Ombudsman.