Ronnie Biggs’ barrister become judge on the North Eastern Circuit

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A BARRISTER who acted for the Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs has become a Judge on the North Eastern Circuit.

Guy Alexander Kearl QC, who until his appointment was head of St Paul’s Chambers, in Leeds, is expected to hear heavyweight criminal cases including murder, complex fraud and serious sexual offences.

Called to the Bar in 1982, he was appointed a Recorder in 2000 and two years later took silk .

He will be based at Leeds Combined Court Centre, where he was welcomed yesterday to the bench, but will also sit at York Crown Court.

Mr Kearl, 52, was instructed as junior counsel for Biggs and supervised his return back to the UK from Brazil in May 2001 and his subsequent appearance in court.

He also drafted representations to the Home Office and Criminal Cases Review Commission prior to Biggs’s subsequent release on health grounds in 2009. Married with two children, Judge Kearl is an enthusiastic sportsman who ran marathons and is a keen skier and tennis player.

His main areas of practice included fraud, specialising in “white collar crime”, regulatory breaches often involving deaths, and serious criminal cases including murder.

In 2000 he was leading junior defending one of nine defendants accused of a series of 14 armed robberies including shooting a policeman.

He has also previously advised the Court of Appeal of the Netherlands in respect of intercepted telecommunications and public interest immunity.

Judge Kearl said in the years since he moved to Yorkshire from Edinburgh to begin his legal career he had observed and learned from some of the finest advocates in the country including Gilbert Gray QC, Sir Harry Ognall, Robert Smith QC and the former Recorder of Leeds, Judge Norman Jones QC, who was his pupil master when he began in chambers.