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Crown court pays tribute to former judge Sir Robin David

Sir Robin retired as senior judge for Chester and North Wales in 1997

Mold Crown Court

Tributes have been paid to a former senior judge in Cheshire and North Wales who has died in his 90s.

The funeral of Sir Robin David, QC, took place at Winchester on Friday (February 2).

At Mold Crown Court, cases came to a halt and the senior judge for North Wales, Judge Rhys Rowlands, was joined by Judge Niclas Parry, Mr Recorder Wyn Lloyd Jones, and District Judge Gwyn Jones.

Judge Rowlands said that Sir Robin retired from his role as resident judge for Chester and North Wales in 1997 and moved to Hampshire.

A native of Mid Wales, he joined The Royal Artillery in the Second World War and was commissioned as Captain.

He was called to the Bar in 1949 in Grey’s Inn and practised on the Chester Circuit from chambers in Hunter Street.

Sir Robin became head of chambers and they moved to new premises in King Street.

In the early 1960s he became deputy chairman of The Quarter Sessions.

He took silk in 1968 and became chairman of The Quarter Sessions and then a circuit judge when the crown court was created in 1972.

Sir Robin, he said, was a full time judge of great distinction for more than 30 years, based in Chester but the senior judge for both Cheshire and North Wales.

He regularly sat at Mold, Caernarfon and the now closed courts at Dolgellau and Welshpool.

Judge Rowlands said that his abiding memory of Sir Robin was his energy and capacity for work and his great attention to detail.

His exacting standards led to the local Bar producing a large number of judges and QCs, he said.

Sir Robin, he said, was an accomplished lawyer, a good administrator, and loyal to staff who thought the world of him.

He was never afraid to take difficult decisions and had an uncanny ability to identify the real issues in cases.

Sir Robin was unfailingly polite and showed compassion where appropriate. He was the architect of the Judiciary and the Bar in the region, said Judge Rowlands.

“We all owe him a great debt of gratitude,” he said.

Barrister John Hedgecoe paid tribute to Sir Robin on behalf of the Bar and described him as “a fantastic judge” and “a charming man”.