Judge Pickles dies aged 85

The controversial judge James Pickles has died aged 85, his son said yesterday.

Judge Pickles, from Halifax, rose to fame in 1985 when he criticised what he saw as government pressure on the judiciary to keep people out of prison.

He also once described a Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, as an "ancient dinosaur" and jailed a woman said to be too frightened to give evidence against a man accused of assaulting her.

He retired as a judge in 1990 and became a tabloid columnist.