Judge killed himself after closure of firm: Judge took his life after closure of law practice

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The Independent Online
A DISGRACED judge gassed himself in his car after his law firm was closed down by Law Society investigators.

Stephen Burr, a part-time district judge, was being investigated for the theft of about pounds 63,000 which had gone missing from clients' accounts at his solicitors' firm, an inquest was told yesterday.

On 29 November last year, Mr Burr, 53, was visited by Law Society investigators at his firm, Burr and Company, in Farnham, Surrey.

Sergeant Chris Robinson told the inquest in Portsmouth, Hampshire, that Mr Burr had been suspended from acting as a solicitor. Shortly afterwards, a process server had arrived at the firm and demanded closure of the business and the keys handed over.

The following day Mr Burr, of Froxfield, Hampshire, was found dead in his Saab car at Barnetts Copse, Chalton, Petersfield, Hampshire. A rubber hose led from the exhaust to the inside of the car.

A pathologist, Dr John Mikel, said that the judge had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Recording a verdict of suicide, James Kenroy, the Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire coroner, said there was no doubt Mr Burr 'did intend to take his own life'.