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Paul Worsley QC

Attended Hymers College:

1956- 1965

What makes this nominee inspiring?

His Honour Judge Paul Worsley QC retired in 2017 as a Senior Judge at the Old Bailey and lives in North Yorkshire. His career, which spans forty-five years in the Criminal Law, began in 1970 after reading Law at Oxford University. He first practised at the Bar from Chambers in Leeds, appearing in many murder cases, often characterised by the rural area in which the crimes took place. In his first such case, when he was still a Junior, he secured the release of a farmer’s son who shot dead both his parents: they had treated him as a slave and made him sleep in the dog kennel. Six years later, he appeared for Yvonne Sleightholme, who famously went blind after being arrested for shooting dead her ‘love rival’ in a remote Yorkshire farmyard.

In 1990 he was appointed a Queen’s Counsel, thereafter defending and prosecuting in many murders on the North Eastern Circuit and in London, and successfully prosecuted ‘Wearside Jack’ (John Samuel Humble), who derailed the Yorkshire Ripper Investigation after sending hoax letters to the investigating officer, claiming to be the Ripper. By the time he was brought to justice, his identity had remained a mystery for over twenty-four years.

Paul sat as a Recorder for many years before becoming a full time Judge at Middlesex Guildhall, now the site of the Supreme Court in London, and for ten years at the Old Bailey, scene of The Postcard Murder trial.

Following his retirement, he has sat as a Judge in the Cayman Islands and came out of retirement briefly when invited to sit at York and Durham. ‘The Postcard Murder: A Judge’s Tale’ is his third book; the first two – ‘The Mango Monkey’ and ‘The Adventures of Cato the Cayman Cat’ – were written with his six grandchildren in mind. 

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