1. Tell us about yourself.
I am now retired and aged 66 years. I am spending retirement as a trans-ocean sailor. I got my LLB (Hons) at what was Mid Essex Technical College in 1973. I became a solicitor and was a defence lawyer for most of my career until made a full-time District Judge (MC) in 2003. I am also a recorder of the Crown Court. I wrote a book on Criminal Advocacy after about five years post-qualification. I have had an article in the Law Society Gazette which I won one of the first (if not the first) Higher Court Advocacy (HCA) and got an invite to a Law Society Party!
2. What is your fondest memory at Anglia Ruskin University?
Drinking at the Railway Tavern and singing rugby songs.
3. What advice would you give to current students as they're preparing to graduate?
Avoid Legal Aid if aspiring to have a good income. Spread the job hunt outside the Bar and Solicitor professions. Get as much work experience as possible, talk to current professionals, and explore all possibilities even outside the law.
4. What do you know now that you wish you had known whilst you were studying?
That Legal Aid and access to justice were to be curtailed. The professions have become service industries and lost public respect. Current business practices, to me, are lacking in integrity e.g. get a free laptop? cold calling?
5. How did your time at Anglia Ruskin help you?
I got a degree without using Universities Central Council on Admissions (UCCA - had no offers!)
6. What did you love about your chosen course?
At that time law was a great subject and to become a solicitor or barrister was realistic. I loved jurisprudence particularly.
7. What would you tell someone thinking of studying at ARU?
Do it! And include jurisprudence if possible!
8. In one word how would you describe Anglia?
For me, I came from the era of the 'dinosaurs'. It was a great college, with great people in it. One word: opportunity.
9. Who and what was the biggest influence on your career?
Not being able to work in anything other than Legal Aid crime, despite having for example, a distinction in the Law Society finals in Company Law I think.
An ancient TV series included an actor called 'Michael Dennison', as 'Boyd QC' and he won all his cases!
10. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
There are several really, my reputation amongst my colleagues was most important to me. Becoming a judge, winning my first jury trial as an H.C.A.
Conducting investigations abroad which were sometimes challenging and dangerous. Career lecturing to schools, and having many students shadowing me as a judge. Law centre work. Trying to make a difference and particularly as one of three judges working in the Community Justice Centre, Liverpool.
11. What advice would you give your younger self?
Maintain your integrity in all things.
12. What drives you?
Fairness and a sense of social justice.
13. What’s next?
If you were a student with us between 1969-1973 and you remember studying law at our central campus at around this time, do get in touch. Perhaps you may remember Trevor.