Funeral service to be held for Sunderland-born crown court judge

David Robson QC
David Robson QC
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A funeral service will be held for one of the North East’s most prominent legal figures tomorrow.

Sunderland-born David Robson QC passed away on Thursday.

David was born in 1940 to parents Joseph and Caroline, who were well known in Ryhope.

Joe worked for CWS or ‘the Store’ as it was known in Ryhope and Silksworth but ended his career at Binns in Sunderland. Caroline was a teacher and an accomplished musician, who passed on her great love of Shakespeare to David.

David attended Ryhope Robert Richardson Grammar School, then He went up to Christchurch College Oxford in 1958 and obtained a degree in Law.

After a period as a teacher at Ryhope Modern School, he was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1965, gaining first place in the criminal law bar finals.

He was appointed a Queens Council in 1980 and became a Recorder on the North East circuit the same year. a role he held until his retirement in 2005.

He was involved in many high profile criminal cases, including representing Sunderland serial killer Steven Grieveson, and was higlhy respected by his colleagues.

David had a great interest in the arts and the welfare and development of young people serving as a director of local theatre and president of the YMCA. He loved the performing arts and was well known in amateur dramatic circles, often performing at the Royalty theatre. He travelled extensively in Europe and was fluent in Italian.

A number of his pupils from his teaching spell will attend tomorrow’s service as a mark of their respect and gratitude, including former Mayor of Sunderland Les Scott, who said: “David was a breath of fresh air to us in the G form at Ryhope Modern School, which was made up of those who had failed the first part of the 11-plus examination.

“As a teacher he was different, but it was the time he and his fellow Oxford graduate David Skeoch, from Murton, who died earlier this year, put into organising ex curricula activities for us that I remember.

“He instilled confidence and self esteem, opened our minds and encouraged many of us to aspire and have ambition. Some of us crossed the road to Robert Richardson Grammar school to do our A levels, proving the fallibility of the 11-plus selection, and then went on to gain university degrees.

“My significant memory of David will be his performance as Lord Fancourt in the play ‘Charley’s Aunt’ put on by the school staff at Ryhope Welfare Hall. We all bought tickets because we were told local hero Brian Clough would be attending - and he was as good as his word.”

A funeral service will be held at 2pm tomorrow at St Cuthbert’s Church, Ryhope.