Tributes paid to Journal court reporter

TRIBUTES were this week publicly paid to Journal court reporter Richard Harrison, who died on Monday morning.

TRIBUTES were this week publicly paid to Journal court reporter Richard Harrison, who died on Monday morning.

At Exeter Crown Court Judge John Neligan and prosecutor Jonathan Barnes on Tuesday gave speeches describing Mr Harrison as not only a reporter but a friend to everyone who worked there.

Judge Neligan said: "He was a press reporter whose integrity and reporting were beyond reproach."

He also spoke about Mr Harrison's 'cynical good humour', raising smiles from many in the courtroom.


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Cranford Club member Mr Harrison, of Hulham Road, worked for decades as a reporter for scores of titles across Devon.

He was a familiar face at the former crown court building at The Castle, and the new Southernhay court.

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When it was announced in court Mr Harrison had died, judges, barristers and court staff packed a courtroom for his tribute.

Judge Neligan arrived with Judge Stephen Wildblood QC and Judge David Tyzack QC.

Barristers, solicitors, security guards, court clerks and ushers and representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, Witness Care Unit and other organisations also attended.

Judge Neligan said he had known Mr Harrison since around 1975, when the judge had started practising at the bar.

"He was, if I may say so, gifted with a great sense of cynical good humour," said Judge Neligan.

"His usual mantra was that lawyers, and in particular judges, were overpaid and underworked.

"I should say on a more serious note that the relationship between the judiciary, law and press is a very important one.

"The judiciary rely on the integrity of the press to report cases and in particular the judge's remarks fairly and faithfully.

"Richard Harrison was a reporter whose reporting was always accurate, always fair and always faithful to the facts.

"His epitaph should perhaps be he was a press reporter whose integrity and reporting were beyond reproach."

"We shall miss him very greatly.

"It was a sadness to see him become very ill.

"Our heartfelt sympathies are passed to his family and in particular, his wife at this very sad time."

Prosecutor Jonathan Barnes said Mr Harrison had been regarded at court as 'friend' and, on behalf of the legal bar, offered condolences to his widow Julia and his family.

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