Tribute to Judge who died suddenly
By Bethany Winter | 7th February 2023
Lawyers, judges and court staff gathered in courtrooms across the South and West of England last week to pay tribute to a 'big hearted' judge with a 'penchant for cake' who died suddenly, a day after his 65th birthday.
At a special Valedictory Hearing held across the Western Circuit in crown courtrooms stretching from Gloucester to Plymouth, Winchester to Bournemouth and Salisbury to Portsmouth, judges, lawyers, clerks, ushers and other staff paid their tributes to Judge Timothy Rose.
The assembled gathering heard that Judge Rose had turned 65 on January 27, and had let news of his milestone birthday slip to a member of staff at Exeter Crown Court, where he was sitting that day.
Tragically, Judge Rose collapsed at home the following day from a stroke and died two days later. He leaves his wife Helen and four sons.
Exeter's resident Judge Anna Richardson said: "Like the mole in the Charlie Mackesy book 'The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse', Tim was very fond of cake.
"Characteristically he had not told anybody about his birthday until he let it slip. We bought him some cake to celebrate.
"He wrote to me about it, to say thank you. I picked this message up on Monday morning - just after I heard that Tim had died."
Judge Richardson said that when Judge Rose left Exeter, having been a full time judge, at the end of last year, he wanted little fuss made of him leaving.
She said: "Today, we are overriding what wishes he may have had. That is because he was so loved by everyone. People have often told me Judge Rose was their favourite judge, before adding sheepishly, that they meant no offence.
"He was described as being approachable, personable and without a shred of superiority. He was decent through and through.
"I had known Tim for some 11 years as we worked in the same city in Bristol, and we trained to become Recorders together. Tim's knowledge of law and procedure was impressive. He seemed far less out of his depth than I was.
"He was also a stickler for punctuality. Clerks often received calls at one minute to ten o'clock asking why hadn't the first case been called on?"
She also recalled how Tim breathed an 'impressive sigh' as a gentle rebuke to lawyers, when cases were not shipshape. "Tim's dry sense of humour made us laugh regularly," she said.
"Tim's family was his world. He loved Helen and his sons more than anything and that love lives on. His Honour Judge Rose was loved and will be terribly missed."
Judge David Evans, also based in Exeter, said his fondest memories of Tim came at the end of a long working week when the pair would talk about their cases and odder moments.
He added: "Tim's story telling was enjoyable as it was delivered with a wry and gentle humour. He was never contentious and he was always considerate. He has given me a lot of wise advice over the years, for which I thank him for.
"Tim was liked by all the clerks and court staff. Tim was always a family man. A big man with a big heart."
Judge Paul Cook, the resident judge at Taunton Crown Court, stated that Judge Rose had a towering physical presence, but he also had a gentle, unassuming, and courteous character. He also praised Tim's attention to numerical details in cases and added he was a demon when it came to spreadsheets.
Judge Rose had been due to sit at Gloucester Crown Court last week. One of Gloucester's regular Judges, Michael Cullum, recalled playing cricket with Tim in a Crown Prosecution Service team, but said none of other players had actually been with the CPS.
The Recorder of Gloucester, Judge Ian Lawrie KC said: "Judge Rose was well known at our court from his earlier sitting sessions. He proved popular with advocates and court staff. He was always corneous and no matter what the pressure might be in court, always went about his duties with an unerring and fine sense of industry and good humour. His untimely death came as a complete shock to all of us
"The tragic irony of Judge Rose's death is that he had been appointed as one of two additional circuit judges allocated to sit at Gloucester to replace Judge Cullum.
"He was going to split his sitting between here and Taunton. We were looking forward to him joining the Gloucester team. We worked very well together when he sat my court on previous occasions and I was looking forward to him bringing additional cheer to the daily grind of our work."
In Gloucester Judge Rose sentenced a 63-year-old man who threw a Molotov cocktail firebomb into a neighbour's caravan, to a prison term ten years with an extra five years on parole as part of an extended sentence.
He also sentenced a counterfeit currency crook, who avoided capture for more than four years by using a false name, to a total of two years and four months in prison.
In Exeter Judge Rose sentenced a man to 28 years in jail for the rape and sexual abuse of teenage girls in Brixham in January 2022.
He also jailed a people smuggler to five years and four months in prison for bringing migrants across the English Channel from France.
Judge Rose also jailed a 25-year-old hotel chef to 24 years in custody for drugging and raping women in a campaign of sexual abuse.
The Ministry of Justice said in a statement: "The Lord Chief Justice, The Right Honourable The Lord Burnett of Maldon, and the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Dominic Raab MP, were saddened to learn of the death of His Honour Judge Timothy Rose on January 30, 2023.
"His Honour Judge Timothy Rose was admitted as a Solicitor in 1982. He was appointed as a Deputy District Judge in the magistrates' courts in 2006; a Recorder in 2016 and a District Judge in the magistrates' courts in January 2018. He was appointed a Circuit Judge in April 2018."
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