A judge who sat on the Midlands court circuit has been found dead in a stream in “unexplained” circumstances.
The body of Judge William Everard, aged 59, was discovered on Sunday in South Creake, Norfolk, where he was thought to have had a holiday home, police sources said. He was described as an “outstanding criminal lawyer”.
James Howlett, who succeeded Judge Everard as head of KCH chambers, in Nottingham, in 2004, said: “The news has been met with complete shock across all the chambers. It has upset the whole legal community.
“He was a distinguished member and head of these chambers for many years. He was an outstanding criminal lawyer, a good friend and a keen sportsman who enjoyed cricket, hockey and fishing. With his wife, he made a home which was a place of generous hospitality to their many friends, in law and elsewhere. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.”
Judge Everard practised almost exclusively in crime, Mr Howlett said, was at the forefront of prosecuting serious sexual crimes against children, and prosecuted more defendants than he defended before becoming a judge in 2004. He did not have children, joined KCH in 1974, lived in Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, Notts, with wife Christine and had a holiday home in Norfolk, Mr Howlett said.