Nicholas Hilliard (judge)

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His Honour Judge Nicholas Richard Maybury Hilliard QC, MA, (born 1959 in Yeovil in Somerset) is the 80th Common Serjeant of London, an ancient and senior legal post at the Old Bailey second only to that of the Recorder of London. He was appointed to that office in May 2013.

Hilliard was educated at Bradfield College in Berkshire, and Lincoln College, Oxford. He was Called to the Bar in 1981, and was appointed a judge in 2003.[1] He was Treasury Counsel at the Central Criminal Court from 1995 to 2008, and was appointed Senior Treasury Counsel and Recorder of the Crown Court in 2001, and Master of the Bench at the Middle Temple in 2003. He was Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association from 2005 to 2006. In 2007 he was involved in the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.[2] Hilliard was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008.[3][4] In that year he led for the Prosecution against the murderers of Ben Kinsella.

In 2011, on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service, he unsuccessfully prosecuted Jonathan Rees for the 1987 murder of private investigator Daniel Morgan, who had been examining police corruption. Hilliard acknowledged the police could not be relied upon to ensure access to documents that the defence might require and the prosecution was fatally undermined as a result and Rees was discharged.[5]

Hilliard was appointed a Senior Circuit Judge in 2012, making him the Resident Judge on the South Eastern Circuit, based at Woolwich Crown Court.[6] He has been a contributing editor to Archbold Criminal Pleading, Evidence and Practice since 1994. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Association of Commonwealth Criminal Lawyers (ACCL),[3]

A Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers,[7] Hilliard is also a Trustee of Crisis, the charity for single homeless people, and the Ben Kinsella Trust, which aims to promote awareness of the effects of knife crime.[8]

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