Tributes paid as Crown Court judge retires

TRIBUTES were paid at Leeds Crown Court yesterday on the retirement of Judge Paul Hoffman.

Called to the Bar in 1964 he became a Recorder in 1984 and a circuit judge in 1991.

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In 1998 he was appointed resident judge at York Crown Court and became the first Honorary Recorder of that City in 2002 when the title was reintroduced by the local council, earning a reputation as a tough sentencer with the occasional “interference” from the Court of Appeal.

A native of the city of Leeds, who went to Roundhay Boys School before achieving a scholarship to Sheffield University, Judge Hoffman returned to Leeds to sit at the Crown Court there in 2008.

The current Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, told a legal gathering yesterday: “He has over the years built a substantial reputation, initially as an advocate, especially a prosecution advocate, but over the last 20 years as a judge you don’t mess with.”