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Wendy Joseph Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Unlawful Killings: Life, Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Wendy Joseph
Until March of 2022, Her Honour Wendy Joseph QC was a judge at the Old Bailey, sitting on criminal cases, and trying primarily allegations of murder and other forms of homicide.

She was born in 1952 in Cardiff, and grew up there as well as Newport. She attended Cathays High School.

She read Law and English at Cambridge, got called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in the year 1975. She became a QC in 1998 and sat as a full time judge from 2007 until 2022. When she moved to the Old Bailey in 2012 she was the only woman among sixteen judges, and just the third woman to ever hold a permanent position there.

Just about every case she sat on involved a dead body or a nearly dead body in it. Manslaughter, murder, and the infliction of appalling injury was her daily diet. Not to mention oceans of grief for victims and defendants, for their friends and family. Just about every horrible incident was utterly pointless and needless.

Wendy was also a Diversity and Community Relations Judge, working to promote better understanding between the judiciary and many various sectors of our community, especially those from minority and less privileged groups. She mentors young people, from a variety of backgrounds, who each hope for a career in law and has got a special interest in helping out women.

Her childhood hero was Sherlock Holmes, and she always prayed to have a mind that worked just like his did.

“Unlawful Killings: Life Love and Murder: Trials at the Old Bailey” is a non fiction book and was released in 2022. High profile murder cases far too often grab our attention in dramatic media headlines, since every unlawful death tells a story. However, unlike many of us, a judge does not get to just turn the page and move on to sports. Nor does the defendant, or the victim’s family, nor the scores of other people that populate the court room.

Yet, each one of us has got a vested interest in what happens in there. And even though many people have just the sketchiest of ideas of what actually happens inside of a Crown Court, any one of us could wind up in the witness-box or even in the dock. And even, in the wrong circumstances, as the defendant in the case. It’s not their fault, Wendy believes. It is the lawyer’s fault. And that’s why she wrote the book in the first place. To shed some light on the whole system.

With deep compassion and breathtaking skill, author Wendy Joseph describes how these cases unfold and illustrates for us precisely what it is like to be a judge for a murder trial and a witness to human bad and good. Sometimes incredibly bad.

The fracture lines which run through our society are getting tougher and tougher to just ignore. From a unique perspective and vantage point, Wendy warns that we do so at our own peril.

In the book, she writes about six stories centered on the worrying aspects of crime: mental illness, gangs, knives, sexual abuse, and domestic violence. She has drawn on the hundreds of trials that she has sat on, in order to say something true about each one of them.

She has attempted to show exactly what it feels like to sit in judgment on another human being. To stare into the eyes of a seventeen year old and send them to prison for life, and see the grief of parents following the way that led their kid to the mortuary slab, to help the still-shocked witnesses recount what they saw and to guide the jury through some of the pitfalls of the law.

The book isn’t about Wendy, instead it is about the courts that are there in order to serve each and every single one of us. It is all about what the law can and cannot achieve. And above all it is about the people that fill up the courtroom, in whatever their role may be.

Each of the ‘chapters’ in this book is a different trial, making this book incredibly varied, discussing quite an array of crimes and the decision making process behind each of the outcomes. You truly feel as though you are in the courtroom, waiting around with bated breath along with everybody else.

In each case she is discussing in the book, Wendy is wise and respectful in each case she is describing here. There is humility and humor in spades. She’s a talented writer and the cases are each surprising in their own ways.

Readers found themselves being sad that this one was over, because they could have easily read about another six trials and not been bored whatsoever. It helps that this is just one of those novels where you just want to sit down and read it every chance they got to. The book is gripping like a crime fiction thriller. They found themselves intrigued with each of the cases that were presented here, the processes which followed, and (most of all) the outcomes. Wendy writes with the flair of a novelist, and the ease about things that are in fact real and often sad and tragic. The way she is able to describe her court room, and the people inside of it is very fascinating.

Wendy writes with an understanding and compassion, and only ever worked to judge the cases themselves and never the people involved. Wendy also makes a point of discussing them as the real human beings that they are, looking far deeper than the defendant in the dock, and seeing the human behind them. Learning more about their stories, and about why they are appearing before her.

Readers learned quite a lot from the book, and from Her Honour. There were aspects of the law that were surprising, particularly the explanation about the verdicts of not guilty and guilty and how nobody ever tried by a jury is ever found ‘innocent’, as there isn’t any such verdict in Wales and England.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Wendy Joseph

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