A SOUTH Lakeland barrister has been appointed to the prestigious Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.

Mark Turner, 53, who grew up in Kendal, has spent more than 30 years in the legal profession and was promoted when a former High Court judge moved up to the Court of Appeal.

Mr Turner, who now lives in Manchester but has roots firmly in the local area, took the silk in 1998 and has sat as a part-time judge for 15 years.

“I wanted to work in the legal profession from the age of nine and still have a letter I sent to my grandmother after my birthday, thanking her and telling her I wanted to join the bar!” he said.

“I wasn’t so precocious to think that I would be a judge but I wanted to be a barrister.

“But after more than 30 years I thought a change from fighting all the time would be nice.

“I certainly find being a judge more relaxing than being a barrister!”

The former Holme Park School pupil said he lived in Kendal until he was 21.

His parents Jeff and Joyce ran The Handbag Shop on Stricklandgate and his uncle Edward had a fishmonger’s business on Branthwaite Brow.

After leaving school he trained as a barrister and served in Manchester for 31 years.

He has most recently served as a part-time judge, but applied to be promoted to the High Court last year.

Now he spends six months of the year in London and the rest of the time being sent aound the UK to stand in on trials.

However, he still has family in Kendal and regularly returns to visit.

“My stepmum and my aunt live in Kendal so it is a place I return to often,” he said.