High profile Midlands criminal barrister and Judge specialising in prosecuting paedophiles suicided in stream in Norfolk over weekend.
Judge William "Willie" Everard, 59,who sat at Derby Crown Court has been suicided in a stream at South Creak(e) near his Fakenham, Norfolk holiday home. Local Plod describe it as a "tragic accident".(Derbyshire Evening Telegraph)
A spokesman said the death was not being treated as suspicious but investigations were continuing. A post-mortem examination carried out yesterday revealed the cause of death as drowning. The Daily Telegraph report that his death ..."was being treated as "unexplained".
His very dead body was discovered by a member of the public at about 8am on Sunday February 1st 2009 . Judge Everard (elected in 2004) was formerly a criminal lawyer with Nottingham-based KCH Barristers, which he joined in 1974. Julie Warburton carries on his work , with a key specialism in serious crimes against women, children and vulnerable adults.
After becoming a judge in 2004, he sat on the Midlands court circuit.
Judge Everard main home was in Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, near Loughborough, with wife Christine - they had no children. James Howlett, who succeeded Judge Everard as head of KCH Barristers in 2004, said he was head of the chambers for many years.
“He was an outstanding criminal lawyer, a good friend and a keen sportsman who enjoyed cricket, hockey and fishing,” he said.
Judge Everard practised almost exclusively in criminal law, said Mr Howlett, and was at the forefront of prosecuting serious sexual crimes against children.
One of Judge Everard’s most recent cases at Derby Crown Court involved gunman Shane Barke who was wearing a black balaclava when he shot blanks from a replica revolver into the property, in Morley Street, at about 1am on July 2 last year. There were five adults inside and three children asleep upstairs.
Judge Everard jailed Barker for three-and-a-half-years in October last year.
He also jailed paedophile James Swift for 15 months in October 2007 after he admitted two charges of sexual assault on boys.
As previously reported in the derby Evening Telegraph, Swift was arrested in April 2007 after residents living nearby gathered outside his home because they were suspicious about the number of youngsters visiting the house.
James Swift, 35, was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Derby Crown by Everard after admitting two charges of sexual assault on boys.
Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, told the court that young boys often visited Swift's house in Church Street, Normanton.
Two boys, aged nine and 10, were at Swift's home on March 3 when the assaults took place. He told one of them he would "hang him from a tree" if he told anyone about the assaults.
The Midlands criminal legal circles are a twitter with rumour, innuendo, suggestions, nods and winks but unless someone breaks cover this will be qietly filed away by Chief Constable Julia Hodson LL.B (Sheffield), an MA in Crime Deviance and Social Policy (J. Moores University, Lancaster) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in counselling and four years in the legal department of Derbyshire County Council ... passing through GMP in 1995 on her meteoric rise to the top.
In February 2005 she became the Acting Deputy Chief Constable of the Lancashire Constabulary where she is well remembered as very friendly = she was very much involved in the Morecambe Bay Cockle enquiry - which happened 5 years ago tonight. See BBC report of her role.
UPDATE Wed. 0930 GMT. Julia Hodson had working with her on Morecambe bay, DS Mick Gradwell who dealt with all the very unpleasant coroner's reports etc., and his team was awarded the Justice Shield, the highest national Criminal Justice award, in 2006, after the handling of this unpleasant task. He went some 4 months ago to send his last couple of years to final retiremement from Lancs Constabulary (who woud pick up his retirement pension plan after 28 years with Lancashire Constabulary a DS since 2000, and has been the head of CID in both Blackburn and Blackpool. ) . To ... Jersey to work as Senior Investigating Officer on the paedophile cases related to Haut de La Garennes.
He of course caused a sensation when he held a press conference with Deputy Chief Officer (and Acting CC) David Warcup, and in their briefing they made it clear that in their view there had never been any evidence that murders had taken place at Haut de la Garenne.
This was on the day Chief Constable Graham Power was sacked (see lengthy and full details here) and just as the Howard league for penal reform issued a damning report on Jersey Child care.