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Summary

Sir Richard Henriques has been centre stage in some of the most high-profile and notorious cases of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. After taking silk in 1986, over the course of the next 14 years he appeared in no fewer than 106 murder trials, including prosecuting Harold Shipman, Britain's most prolific serial killer, and the killers of James Bulger. 

In 2000 he was appointed to the High Court Bench and tried the transatlantic airline plot, the Morecambe Bay cockle pickers, the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes and many other cases. He sat in the Court of Appeal on the appeals of Barry George, then convicted of murdering Jill Dando and Jeremy Bamber, the White House Farm killer.

In From Crime to Crime Richard Henriques tells the story behind his most famous cases and includes his trenchant views on the state of the British judicial system; how it works - or doesn't - and the current threats to the rule of law that affect us all.

©2020 Richard Henriques (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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A must to add on your list of books to read

We all have opinions on the judiciary particularly following a major case making the headlines, but very poor understanding of the reality, facts and the real circumstances of the case and the constraints imposed.
So taking the time to read this book to better understand the practice of and achieve an insight into our legal system from one of the eminent judges is a must for us all to achieve such an insight.

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Straight from the horse’s mouth

This brilliant and important book should be required reading for anyone contemplating a career in the law. All law-makers, practitioners and police officers should have a copy in their library. The necessary improvements listed by Richard Henriques at the end are vital and urgent, he knows whereof he writes. Sadly, his criticisms have been made many times before with very little to show for them. Perhaps this book will be a catalyst for change.

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Loved this book

Was recommended by someone who knows the author. A couple of the chapters from Blackpool were interesting as it’s my home town. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in how the prosecution service works

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  • 11-09-20

An insightful look, but...

I enjoyed the first third of this book, but then gradually I began to tire of the narrator. I felt that the text became very self-centred and every judgement, every trial had an air of smugness. However, ploughing on I think that is the fault of the narrator. The book itself is fascinating and a tribute to a long career, with some mindful warnings for the future of the legal system.

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Thoroughly enjoyable.

Very interesting and a well presented book. I thought perhaps a couple of chapters were too long (Harold Shipman and 'The Cockle Pickers' chapters but on the whole excellent.

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It fills the gaps

A well written book that kept my interest from the start. As previously commented on by others, Henriques details all the major cases he has been involved in and for me filled the gaps in my knowledge. The book also corrects what the general public were told by the spin of the press at the time. Highly recommended.

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very interesting

very interesting, insight to many well know cases over the years which I remember well

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Well-judged

Richard Henriques describes in forensic detail some of modern history’s most notorious crimes, from the murder of toddler Jamie Bulger to the killing spree of GP Harold Shipman. The book is a series of extended case studies homing in on the key trials which Henriques prosecuted or latterly judged. He also conducted a probe into Operation Midland, sparked by bogus allegations of paedophilia against VIPs. The net result is a book of unrelenting intensity that demands your full attention - it’s similar to being a juror in a complex trial and trying to keep up with the evidence. Henriques himself doesn’t give a huge amount away about his own life, beyond the bare minimum: the focus, as the title suggests, is firmly on the crimes themselves. It ends with an essay about his suggested reform of the English justice system. Overall, it’s not for the faint of heart, but for anyone interested in these high-profile cases, and the current state of the courts in England, it’s highly recommended.

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Tales from the Not So Secret Barrister

I was not familiar with Richard Henriques before listening to this audio book but I was familiar with many of the high profile cases that he has been involved in as either a prosecuting or defence barrister or a judge. Mr Hanriques comes over as measured and considered as he recalls the highlights of his career which included a staggering 106 murder trials and famous cases such as the Derek Hatton corruption case, the Jill Dando murder, the Leeds United footballers case, the Jean Charles De Menezes killing by the Metropolitan Police (Keystone cops type blunders leading to mistaken identity and prosecuted as a health and safety breach) the tragic case of the Chinese cockle fishers in Morecambe Bay (failings by the police, and coast guards who were tardy in responding as the victims were illegal immigrants) and the infamous Project Midland which included astounding false allegations against members of the establishment.

The two cases for which Mr Henriques will be most remembered are the horrific James Bulger murder in 1993 and the trail of the UK's most prolific serial killer Dr Harold Shipman. Mr Henriques tells his story without tabloid sensationalism and concentrates on the facts of each case. Notwithstanding his measured narration these are shocking tales. The most astounding aspect of the Dr Shipman case is the way that the medical profession closed ranks to attempt to protect him, how little action was taken by the General Medical Council despite his killing of an estimated 215 victims and the arrogance, conceit and contempt he showed during the trial denying all charges. This raises the question of whether other GPs at the time were engaging in similar practices to "snow out" vulnerable patients using dia-morphine, which he easily stockpiled with seemingly no checks as to usage; we may never know the answer to this due to the complicity of the medical profession to protect their members.

At the end of this book Mr Henriques calmly outlines certain reforms he would like to see in the criminal justice system. This is not as hard hitting in recommendations as the Secret Barrister but it is just as relevant and urgent if we are going to see justice. Justice delayed is indeed justice denied.

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dull and lifeless

How is it possible to make such potentially compelling material so dull and lifeless? The tabloid subheading is especially ill-chosen, since these cases seem not to have shocked the author in any degree. I admire Sir Richard's willingness to 'go public' - but wish he had taken some advice on how to write engagingly before he did so.