Blackpool’s first ever full time judge has retired from his post.
District Judge Jeff Brailsford is 70 this week and tributes to his eight years leading the administration of justice at the busy seaside court were paid to him.
Judge Brailsford began his career as a court clerk and then became a solicitor specialising in defence work largely in his home city of Preston.
His appointment as district judge in Blackpool was made in January 2010.
He will continue on a part-time basis sitting as a Deputy District Judge in the area’s family court.
Chairman of Lancashire’s Magistrates Frank Shipway praised Judge Brailsford for breaking down a remoteness between professional judges and lay magistrates.
Mr Shipway told a packed Court One: “He has always welcomed lay magistrates into his court to see how he conducts it, in particular his robust case management. He has enabled us to work together in harmony.”
During his time in Blackpool Judge Brailsford has specialised in dealing with cases involving protesters at the fracking site on Preston New Road, Blackpool.
Several of his written judgements have been archived for other judges to study.
He also dealt with cases involving Blackpool FC fans involved in protests at Bloomfield Road.
The judge told the court before his final sitting: “I will miss the characters and humour. I have always tried to be fair and just and will miss everyone – even the defendants.”
Judge Brailsford will be replaced by District Judge Jane Goodwin.