Judge found dead in village stream

A respected crown court judge was found dead in the freezing waters of a village stream this weekend in unexplained circumstances, it emerged last night.

A respected crown court judge was found dead in the freezing waters of a village stream this weekend in unexplained circumstances, it emerged last night.

The body of Judge William Everard, 59, was discovered in South Creake during the early hours of Sunday.

Judge Everard lived in Nottinghamshire but was believed to have been staying in the holiday home he owned with his wife in the village near Fakenham.

A spokesman for Norfolk police said the death was being treated as 'unexplained but not suspicious' and officers were last night waiting for the body to be formally identified before officially releasing any name.


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But yesterday a former colleague confirmed Judge Everard had died and paid tribute to a man who had been at the forefront of prosecuting sexual crimes against children.

James Howlett, who succeeded Judge Everard as head of KCH chambers in Nottingham in 2004, said: 'The news has been met with complete shock across all the chambers. It has upset the whole legal community.

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'Judge William Everard was a distinguished member and head of these chambers for many years. He was an outstanding criminal lawyer, a good friend and a keen sportsman who enjoyed cricket, hockey and fishing.

'With his wife, he made a home which was a place of generous hospitality to their many friends, in law and elsewhere. He will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.'

Judge Everard's wife Christine is an artist who has exhibited landscape, seascape, still-life and abstract paintings in a number of Norfolk galleries. She was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Norfolk police have completed investigations at the scene and are expected to release details of a post-mortem examination this morning.

Vvillagers in the snow-covered community of South Creake yesterday were unable to say how the judge came to be found in the stream, at the junction of Burnham Road and Bluestone Lane.

Parish clerk Stafford Snell said: 'All I can say is I was very sorry to hear what had happened and obviously the thoughts of the parish council and of the village go to his relatives.'

Judge Everard, who did not have children, had a distinguished

career as a barrister and was a Queen's Counsel specialising in the field of crime before becoming a district judge on the Midland circuit in 2004.

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