Senior and Area Coroners

Senior Coroner

Philip Spinney

Philip Spinney is the HM Senior Coroner for the County of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

Photo of Philip Spinney sat at a table with paperwork and penPhilip is an experienced solicitor and advocate with a background in public, administrative and criminal law. His legal career started as a solicitor in private practice in Dorset before being commissioned into the legal branch of the Royal Air Force in 1996.

He initially served with the Royal Air Force Prosecuting Authority and later undertook a variety of legal roles which included advising the senior leadership of the Royal Air Force and Ministers on aspects of constitutional, international and military law.

He was the first legal adviser to the newly formed Military Aviation Authority where he was the appointed adviser to all fatal accident inquiries.

Philip also served overseas with NATO and the United Nations and served on operations in Bosnia, Abkhazia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Philip completed the Joint Service Advanced Staff and Command course and as a senior officer sat on the Legal Branch Management Board.

Whilst serving with The Royal Air Force Philip was appointed as an Assistant Coroner in the Plymouth, Torbay and South Devon Jurisdiction.

Philip achieved the rank of Air Commodore and on leaving the Royal Air Force Philip was appointed as an Assistant Land Registrar to HM Land Registry in Plymouth and also continued to sit regularly as an Assistant Coroner in Devon.

In 2016 Philip was appointed as the Area Coroner to the newly formed South Wales Central Coroner Area where he had the day to day responsibility for the Cardiff Coroner’s Court and office.

In 2018 Philip was appointed as the Senior Coroner in the Exeter and Greater Devon Coroner area.

Philip lives in Devon with his wife, Gill and their two children. He is a keen sailor and enjoys spending time on Dartmoor running and walking with his family and dogs.

Area Coroner

Alison Longhorn

The team also consists of eight Assistant Coroners.