Newcastle barrister takes Senior Magistrate job in Falklands Islands
A barrister is swapping his job in the North East for a top role in the Falkland Islands.
Carl Gumsley is swapping busy city life for beautiful landscapes and fascinating wildlife as he takes on the role of senor magistrate, reports Journal liveuk.co.
The role is equivalent to that of a Crown Court and County Court judge dealing with both criminal and civil cases.
Carl, who has spent the last three years at Newcastle-based Trinity Chambers, will also be the senior magistrate for South Georgia, the South Sandwich Islands and the British Antarctic Territory.
Based in Stanley, 45-year-old Carl will be the only resident judicial figure on the islands.
The Falkland Islands have their own laws and legal system, although they are heavily based upon and influenced by English law.
Carl says he will be dealing with a much wider area of laws than he did at Trinity Chambers, working in crime, family and commercial law as well as wildlife, admiralty and fisheries matters.
“The lifestyle and working conditions will be very different, being able to walk to work when the weather permits, no traffic jams when I have to drive, no parking problems, as well as living and working in beautiful surroundings”, said Carl who currently lives in Gosforth.
Carl says he will be looking forward to working on a wide variety of cases.
“The Law of the Falkland Islands is very similar to English Law but is obviously different in places. It will be a challenge to get fully up to speed on those differences as soon as possible.
“On a personal level I am looking forward to the opportunities for outdoor pursuits, seeing the wildlife and the legendary hospitality of the Falkland Island people”.
Carl, who moves out to the Islands next week with his wife Jackie and their dogs, a Labrador called Betty and a Westie called Bonnie, will be posted there for two years.
It is his intention to return to his chambers in Newcastle after that.
Carl, who has been a barrister in Newcastle for 22 years, said: “Every case I have done is important and every time that I feel that my advocacy has made a difference is a highlight. Whilst it will be a little daunting in the Falkland Islands at first I know that I will be able to rely on the support and help of the local JPs and on the advice of the top judge, the Chief Justice who makes regular visits to the Islands.
“I am grateful to Trinity for all their support in giving me a sabbatical and so allowing me to take up this fantastic opportunity.”
Head of Trinity Chambers Toby Hedworth QC said: “The influence of Trinity Chambers has spread far and wide but Carl Gumsley has taken his to the extreme. We wish him well for his fascinating sabbatical.”
Carl has been involved in many high profile cases during his career including the case of 35-year-old Peter Voisey from Blyth who kidnapped a six-year-old girl from her bath in North Tyneside and raped her in 2005, for which he was given three life sentences at Newcastle Crown Court in 2006.
He was also involved in the case of the woman known as Britain’s Cannabis Gran. Patricia Tabram, now 72, of Humshaugh who was found guilty of cultivating and possessing the class C substance in March 2007.
She said she began using cannabis to relieve the neck pain she had suffered for many years as the result of two car crashes.
According to his CV, Carl specialisms are Crime, Regulatory and Disciplinary Law, Mental health Law and Road Traffic Law. He was educated at LLB Sheffield.
He has been involved in high profile cases and is a member of the Criminal Bar Association and Steering Group for the North East Offender Diversion Project.
Carl has been invited on a number of occasions to appear on television and radio to comment on legal matters and has acted as an external advocacy tutor on the BVC at Northumbria University. He has delivered a guest lecture on the Senior Practitioners Lecture Series.Carl has also lectured on mental health issues to legal and social care practitioners.