Tributes pour in for legal ‘powerhouse’ Justice Redhead

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Retired Justice Albert Redhead died on March 4 after a brief period of illness in Antigua, plunging the legal fraternity here and across the Eastern Caribbean into mourning.
Described as a “powerhouse” by many, Justice Redhead has worked at all levels of the judiciary within the region.
Sitting High Court adjudicator Justice Keith Thom said his former colleague was a “legal giant.”
“It is with great sadness I received the news of his passing. He was my mentor and my friend. I recall the days when I appeared before him as a prosecutor. Every day was a learning experience. I sat at the feet of Gamaliel. He was a great teacher and was very helpful to junior counsel. His memory was encyclopaedic. He will be dearly missed. To his wife June and the entire family, my heartfelt condolences at his sad passing,” the judge eulogised.
Justice Thom said he’s happy he was able to express his love and respect directly to Justice Redhead when he was alive.
“I owe everything to this man. He taught me well. I was happy that I was able to tell him how much I loved and respected him and to thank him for all he had done for me. I’m happy that I gave him his flowers then,” he added.
At the High Court yesterday morning a moment’s silence was held in Justice Thom’s courtroom to mark respect for the fallen adjudicator, then the court was adjourned for the day as defence counsel John Fuller was in no condition to continue his case.
Crown Counsel Adlai Smith also reacted emotionally to the passing of Justice Redhead who spent his last years of practice on the bench in Antigua up to 2016, presiding over the criminal court where Smith prosecuted.
“Words really cannot express how saddened I am to hear the passing of such a great legal stalwart in my opinion. The legal profession, justice system, has lost a truly great man. I really don’t know how to come to terms with this,” he told OBSERVER media.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin who said Justice Redhead’s work positively impacted the judiciary.
“This is a judge of great repute, high integrity and has made a positive development to Caribbean jurisprudence. His judgments are clear, distinct and logical, and he was always so very approachable and has been very helpful to practitioners who appeared before him,” Benjamin said.
He recalled that the judge guided him in the early years of his career on how to be a better advocate.
Benjamin said he had recently turned to Justice Redhead for assistance in establishing the Criminal Prosecution Service in Antigua since he had done the same for St. Lucia.
“I was hoping to secure his experience in this regard,” the attorney general said, while adding that it is regrettable it would not happen.
Tribute is also being paid by the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association which, in a post on its Facebook page, wrote that its members are saddened to learn of the judge’s passing.
“Justice Redhead has been described as a Grenadian powerhouse who served the region with distinction and above self. We at the OECS Bar and the Constituent Bars of the OECS express our deepest sympathies to his wife, Mrs. June Redhead, his children and the rest of his family. May he rest in eternal peace,” the post stated. It was signed by Thaddeus M. Antoine, Esq, President of the OECS Bar.
Redhead began his legal career in the early 1970s after he received a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of London in 1971. He was called to the bar of England and Wales in 1972 and two years later he moved to Saint Kitts and Nevis where he began working as a Crown Counsel.
In 1975 he became Registrar of the Saint Kitts and Nevis courts and also served as a magistrate of the courts. In 1980 he became the Director of Public Prosecutions for Saint Kitts and Nevis.
His appointment as a High Court Judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court was made in 1985. In 1997 he became an Appeals Court Judge of the same court. He retired in 2003 but was re-appointed more than once thereafter to act as a judge in the High Court in several countries in the OECS.

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