Staff at Luton Crown Court bid farewell to Judge Andrew Bright QC, who is retiring as a judge to take up a teaching post at the University of Hertfordshire.

Judge Bright will teach law to students, something he has wanted to do for a long time.

The popular and respected judge has been a familiar figure in the courtrooms of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire for many years.

He spent 30 years as a barrister and became a QC, regularly appearing at both Luton Crown Court and St Albans Crown Court.

He then went on to become a judge sitting at both.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Andrew Bright was a judge at Luton Crown Court. Photo: Google

It was as the resident judge at St Albans Crown Court, a role he took up in 2010, that he presided over the trial in 2017 of Ian Stewart, who was accused of the murder of author Helen Bailey.

It was a high profile trial and, at the end of it, with Stewart being found guilty of the murder, Judge Bright sentenced him to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 34 years.

The valedictory for Judge Bright was held on Friday in courtroom number 5 at Luton Crown Court and was attended by staff, barristers and fellow judges.

Read more: The unemployment rate in Hertfordshire following lockdown

Many other colleagues and friends of the judge were able to link up to the proceedings via video links.

Those paying tribute to Judge Bright spoke of his compassion and wisdom and the way he was always able to command affection and respect from the advocates appearing before him.

After retiring as resident judge at St Albans Crown Court in 2018, Judge Bright has spent the last two years at Luton Crown Court.

The present resident judge at the court, Judge Mark Bishop, told how Judge Bright had been a source of great encouragement and support to him.

Judge Bright praised the staff at Luton Crown Court and said “I want to thank you all for making my time at Luton Crown Court such a happy time.”