Respected legal expert and a sporting hero

editorial image

TRIBUTES have been paid to John Kenneth Edward Slack – the popular Cuddington man known as CJ – who presided over Aylesbury Crown Court for many years.

Among his many achievements, His Honour John Slack will be remembered for his passion for cricket, rugby and golf – including captaining the title winning Bucks County Cricket team in the late 60s and early 70s.

Born in 1930 in London he attended University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, gaining a scholarship to St John’s College in Cambridge – an experience delayed by his national service as a captain in the Education Corps, based at Woolwich Garrison. After university he worked his way up through a law firm in West London (after turning down a cricket contract with Middlesex to focus on law) and in 1959 married Patricia Helen Metcalfe, who he met in Cambridge.

During the week he commuted from Iver to West Kensington and at weekends played for UCS Old Boys Rugby in the Winter and Beaconsfield and Buckinghamshire cricket teams during the Summer.

He became a Recorder after the 1970 Courts Act permitted solicitors to be appointed to the Crown Court Bench and later became a full time circuit judge – where the acronym ‘CJ’ became his nickname. He was known for his expertise in fraud trials and for his impatience with sloppy evidence or preparation by prosecuting lawyers and witnesses.

Also prominent was his passion for recruiting and training magistrates, efforts which were reflected in his appointment as a Deputy Lieutenant. By this time the cricket and rugby playing years had gone, replaced by a passion for golf and Beaconsfield Golf Club in particular. He also served as chairman of the governors at UCS Old Boys RFC. In this role he worked for a time with Ken Livingston, for whom he had much regard. During retirement, His Honour John Slack spent several years enjoying a relaxed life with his wife in Cuddington. He passed away on May 6 from a stroke aged 81. He leaves his wife Patty, two sons Chris and Martin, grandchildren Rosie and Josh and many friends.

His funeral takes place at 2.30pm on May 22 at Amersham (Chiltern) Crematorium, followed by a reception at Beaconsfield Golf Club.