Mark Herron's inquest told 'cause of death is yet to be ascertained' as Sunderland murder inquiry continues

An inquest into the death of Mark Herron, the Sunderland man whose body was discovered after a garage fire has been opened.

Thursday, 5th March 2020, 4:14 pm

The city’s senior coroner Derek Winter led the hearing into the 53-year-old’s death at Sunderland Civic Centre today, Thursday, March 5.

The short session was told the date of death for Mr Herron, of Bedford Place in Silksworth, was recorded as Tuesday, February 18, at an address in Tunstall Village Green.

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An inquest into the death of Mark Herron was opened and adjourned in Sunderland on Thursday March 5

A 38-year-old Wearside man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and has been released under investigation.

Mr Herron’s remains were discovered in the days after the blaze – which caused significant damage to the building – as inquires were carried out into the fire.

Mr Winter told the hearing the death had been referred to his office because of the circumstances, with a forensic post-mortem examination carried out by Home Office pathologist Nigel Cooper on Tuesday, February 25.

The remains of Mark Herron were found in a garage in Tunstall Village Green.

“The cause of death is yet to be formally ascertained as a variety of further tests are required and inquiries into the circumstances of Mr Herron’s death are ongoing,” Mr Winter said.

He said he would adjourn the hearing until Tuesday, June 23, unless details became available earlier to allow a full inquest to go ahead.

As the police investigation got underway Detective Inspector Graeme Dodds said work was ongoing at the scene, which would take “some time to complete” and that his team were open-minded about what had happened as they worked to pull together a timeline of events.

In a statement, Mr Herron’s family said: “We are absolutely devastated by Mark’s death.

Police at the scene of the blaze as inquiries were carried out at Tunstall Village Green.

“Words can’t describe the pain we are feeling as we try to come to terms with our loss.”

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service was called to the address at 8.30pm on February 18 and battled through the night to put out the fire.

Flowers were left at Tunstall Village Green in tribute to Mark Herron as specialist search teams continued to work at the scene.