David Farrell (judge)

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David Anthony Farrell (born May 1956) is a current UK Circuit Judge who holds the position of "Resident Judge" at Cambridge Crown Court. Farrell was appointed to the South Eastern Circuit on 18 July 2011.[1]

Farrell is due take on the ceremonial position of Honorary Recorder of Cambridge, a civic position revived in 2013. Farell's predecessor Gareth Hawkesworth was appointed to the position following a unanimous vote of Cambridge City Councillors.[2][3][4]


Farrell was called to the Bar (became a barrister) in 1978 and became a Queen's Counsel in 2000.[5] He was appointed as an assistant recorder in 1996 and as a recorder in 2000.[6]

Farrell was the first Queen's Counsel in the UK to achieve accreditation under a new Scheme for High Cost Criminal Cases introduced in 2010.[7]

Farrell served as a director of 36 Bedford Row Limited from 15 June 1995 until 2 December 2000.[8]

Channer/Monteiro Case[edit]

In 2011 Farrell presided over a case of the rape of an 11-year-old girl in Luton. Two men, Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro, both 21, pleaded guilty. In his sentencing remarks Farrell explained why he was departing from sentencing guidelines, of 11–17 years custody and imposing sentences of 40 months imprisonment stating;

...despite her age, ... this was consensual in the sense that she was a willing participant; and, secondly, because of the fact that you, as I have already found, reasonably believed her to be fourteen, not as young as eleven.[9]

Following the sentencing Attorney General Dominic Grieve made a submission to the Court of Appeal that;

The judge over-emphasised the apparent age of the complainant and failed to place sufficient weight upon the obligation upon the offenders to make enquiries as to the age of the child;

and The judge gave too much weight to the "willingness" of the complainant. What was happening in reality was the opportunistic exploitation of a young girl, who was plainly vulnerable, for sexual self gratification.

The appeal court replaced Farrell's with sentences of seven years detention in a young offender institution.

The appeal court found that Farrell had made a technical error when he sentenced the offenders to imprisonment when their sentences involved detention in a Young Offender Institution.[10]


  1. ^ "List of members of the judiciary > Circuit Judge List". Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  2. ^ "Cambridge City Council - 22 October 2015". Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Reviving legal title which dates back to 15th century does justice to Cambridge". Retrieved 1 November 2015. [permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Cambridge City Council, Thursday, 24th October, 2013". Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "David Farrell" (PDF). 36 Bedford Row Chambers. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Times, Legal News, July 2 2011". Times Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "36 Bedford Row Chambers e-newsletter - March 2011". 36 Bedford Row Chambers. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "David Anthony FARRELL". Companies House UK. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 
  9. ^ "Two rapists jailed for just 40 months each because a judge said their 11-year-old victim was 'willing'". Mail Online, 22 February 2012
  10. ^ "Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro Judgement - 23 May 2012" (PDF). Judiciary UK. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 

External links[edit]