One of Liverpool’s most senior judges has been appointed to the top judicial role in Lancashire.
Judge Mark Brown starts on Monday as the senior circuit and resident judge at Preston Crown Court following the retirement of the city’s Recorder, Judge Anthony Russell, QC.
In this position he will be the lead judge for Lancashire and as well as trying the most serious cases, such as murders and major drug conspiracies, he will also be responsible for important administrative duties.
In a farewell speech on Wednesday at Liverpool Crown Court, where Judge Brown has sat for 15 years, he spoke of his enjoyment of local humour, “which reflects the fact that Liverpool people are warm and good-hearted”.
The Preston-born judge practised as a barrister, mainly specialising in crime, based in Liverpool for 24 years before his appointment to the bench.
Judge Brown said that in terms of efficiency and operation the city’s crown court is in the top three in the country – “in footballing terms it would qualify every year for the Champions League”.
And he also pointed out that the staff have just become the National Team of the Year within the national court system and he went on to praise them and local members of the legal profession.
Speaking later Judge Brown, who lives with wife, Jane, on the Wirral, said: “I have had a wonderful time here as a judge and have been extremely fortunate to have worked with some tremendous judges, who have been very supportive, and excellent staff. It is a wrench to be leaving but I am obviously looking forward to the challenge of starting a new job. It is an important career move and I am naturally thrilled to have been appointed.”
Judge Brown, 62, who has one son and two young granddaughters, took particular time to praise his personal usher, Brenda Jones, who has been with him throughout his tenure at the crown court.
“She has always gone that extra mile for me and I am particularly grateful to her,” he explained.
His new prestigious role in Preston means his returning to his roots as he was born here and his ancestors have lived in the area for many years.