COURTS all over the West Country came to a standstill this morning, Friday, as hundreds of lawyers, judges, clerks and ushers paid tribute to Judge Timothy Rose, who died suddenly at the weekend.
A ceremony at Exeter Crown Court was broadcast to court centres from Truro to Gloucester and from Bristol to Swindon with more than 25 judges and 75 more lawyers joining by video link.
All of the linked courtrooms were packed with mourners wishing to join together in remembering Judge Rose, who died suddenly at the age of 65 just hours after completing a day’s sitting at Exeter.
The main court at Exeter was packed, with standing room only and even the jury box filled with well-wishers paying their final regards to Judge Rose, who had recently moved to Taunton Crown Court after spending four years based at Exeter.
Judge Rose was immensely popular with lawyers, clerks, other court users and even some defendants because of his patience, humanity and humour.
Judges Anna Richardson and David Evans led the tributes at Exeter while Judge Paul Cook joined them on a link from Taunton. All spoke of the shock and grief which has been felt by everyone who knew or worked with Judge Rose.
Judge Richardson described him as: ‘Personable, approachable and without a shred of superiority, decent through and through. He was much loved and will be terribly missed.’
She said that everyone she has spoken to since learning of Judge Rose’s death has told her that he was their favourite judge.
Judge Evans recalled Judge Rose, who he knew as Tim, fondly and said he was a large man with a love of cake who sometimes looked like a mixture between Eeyore and Winnie the Pooh.
He said: ‘He was a big man with a big heart and we will all be smaller for his loss.’
Judge Rose began his career as a solicitor in Bristol but moved on to achieve hearing rights in the Crown Court and then became a Recorder for a short time before being appointed as a Judge.
He did not try murder cases but did preside over many high profile trials, including that of Brixham martial arts coach Derek Ross Hodder, who he jailed for 28 years after he was found guilty of abusing girls who attended his classes.