Tributes paid to region’s first female circuit judge, Caroline Ludlow, at thanksgiving service

Judge Caroline Ludlow, who sat at courts in Suffolk and Essex before her retirement in 2013, died ag

Judge Caroline Ludlow, who sat at courts in Suffolk and Essex before her retirement in 2013, died aged 67 - Credit: Cont

A service of thanksgiving has taken place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral for a Suffolk judge who was the first female judge to be appointed in East Anglia.

Judge Caroline Ludlow, who sat at courts in Suffolk and Essex before her retirement in 2013, died aged 67, less than a year after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Nearly 400 people attended the service, during which tributes were paid to her by her family, friends and colleagues.

Judge Ludlow became the region’s first female assistant recorder in 1992 and its first female circuit judge in 1997. Her legal career started in 1970 after she was called to the Bar by the Inner Temple after graduating from Queen Mary’s College, University of London.

After qualifying, she worked for HM Customs and Excise before joining what is now the Crown Prosecution Service where she met her husband John Everitt.


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The couple married in 1987 and their daughter Merryn was born the following year.

Following her appointment as a judge, she sat on criminal and civil cases but following her decision to specialise in family law she was appointed as the Designated Family Judge at Chelmsford County Court in 2000 and at Ipswich County Court in 2003.

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Part of her kindness and compassion was reflected in her involvement with many charities and organisations including Parents’ Conciliation Trust (PACT), the Foyer, the Porch Project, the Bury St Edmunds Contact Centre, the Children’s Legal Centre, the Suffolk Community Foundation, SAFE, which is now SAFEcic, and the University of Essex School of Law Advisory Board.

Paying tribute to his wife Mr Everitt said: “Caroline spent her life helping others, particularly children. She was dedicated to her family and home. She was so proud of our daughter Merryn, who is at Warwick University reading for a PhD in French Literature.

“She loved most of all when work was done being at home with Merryn and me and Maddy our faithful Basset hound.

“She loved reading and was extremely well read and she also loved her garden. She died peacefully at home with Merryn and me after battling so bravely with leukaemia for just under a year.

“She was loved by many people whose lives she had touched. This was reflected in the magnificent number of people who came from all over the country to her memorial service. One of the speakers at the service said that he didn’t ever remember Caroline speaking ill of anyone.

“What a wonderful tribute. She was a beautiful, lovely lady who did so much good for so many people.”

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