Brian John Barker CBE QC (born 1945) is a British retired judge. From February 2013 to January 2015 he served as the Recorder of London, the most senior judge at the Old Bailey. Prior to that he was the former Common Serjeant of London, the second most senior judge at the Old Bailey.
Barker graduated from Birmingham University with an LLB degree in law in 1966. Barker was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn in 1969 and was a leading criminal barrister excelling as a prosecutor and a defender. He served as Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association. He was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1990, and was appointed a circuit judge at the Old Bailey in 2000.
He succeeded Peter Beaumont as Recorder of London, to become the most senior judge at the Old Bailey in February 2013. Barker was previously appointed as the 79th holder of the post of Common Serjeant of London (the second most senior judge at the Old Bailey) in 2005, again succeeding Judge Peter Beaumont QC. The Common Serjeant is an ancient office first recorded in 1291 with the appointment of Thomas Juvenal. Barker has since presided over trials including those of Umran Javed, the murderers of Jody Dobrowski, the murder trial of rapper 'Crazy Titch', aka Carl Dobson, and the murder of Ben Kinsella.
In May 2016, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP announced the appointment of Barker to the dual role of Chair of the Northern Ireland Committee on Protection and Independent Reviewer of National Security Arrangements in Northern Ireland.
In December 2016 the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced that, following an open competition, it had appointed Barker as its first Judicial Panel Chairman.
Barker is married to Dame Anne Rafferty DBE PC, one of the United Kingdom's few female Appeal Court judges, with whom he has three daughters. Another daughter, who had Down's syndrome, died aged two.
He lists his hobbies as golf and sheep rearing. Barker is a Governor of Sir John Cass's Foundation, one of London's oldest and largest education charities, which was founded in 1748. Barker is a Freeman of the City of London, a Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Coopers and an Honorary Liveryman of the Curriers' Company.
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