Keeping it in the family

Judge Robert Altham
Judge Robert Altham

A DESCENDANT of a Lancashire Witch Trial Judge is following in his relative’s footsteps exactly 400 years later – as a judge himself.

Judge Robert Altham sits as a circuit judge in the Crown Court in the Castle, where his ancestor, Sir James Altham, was one of the King’s Justices who conducted the witch trials at Lancaster Assizes in August 1612.

Judge Altham, 46, was born in Morecambe and educated at Sandylands Primary School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School.

He studied Latin and Greek at University College London and later studied for the common professional exam at Birmingham University and at the Inns of Court School of Law in London.

In 1993 he was called to the Bar of Gray’s Inn, as Sir James was in 1581.

Judge Altham, whose parents, John and Linda Altham, live in Lancaster, joined the chambers of David Steer QC in Liverpool and became a Recorder in 2008.

As a circuit judge since last year, dealing with crime, he sits mainly in Preston but also in Lancaster and Burnley.

He married Fiona Aubrey and they have a son and two daughters.