Judge Patricia Dangor
Judge Patricia Dangor

Bermudian Patricia Dangor may have retired as a senior judge on the English bench — but she’s not planning to take it easy.

Judge Dangor — who stood down as a Circuit Judge in the London area only days ago — is planning a second career as a facilitator in restorative justice.

Speaking from her home in London, she said: “Most definitely, I will miss my job — it’s extremely stressful and very hard work, but it’s never dull.

“There’s always something interesting and one continues to learn about the human condition and it can be fun as well.”

But she said she had just completed her training in restorative justice — where criminals, victims and others affected by a crime meet in a bid to create closure and make amends — and was looking forward to handling her first case soon.

Judge Dangor added: “In the criminal justice system, while we have victim support and statements, they don’t have the chance to speak to the people who have done them harm.

“The object of the exercise is to focus on what the offender has done. He or she says what they’ve done and the victim has a chance to say what happened to them and how it affected them and other people.”

She has also recently delivered a lecture to criminology students at London’s Kingston University on the jury system.

And Judge Dangor — who has sat in various roles in the Bermuda justice system, including stints as a Puisne Judge in Supreme Court — will continue to fill in on the bench in Bermuda.

She said: “It’s what I call my holiday job — when people have been on holiday, I have tried to help out.”

Judge Dangor stepped down from the bench two weeks ago when she reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

She was the first person of African-Caribbean heritage to be appointed a Circuit Judge, who generally sit in Crown and County Courts in England and Wales.

Judge Dangor, the mother of two grown-up daughters and grandmother of three, is married to South African-born Bucker Dangor, a physicist at the prestigious Imperial College in London, one of the world’s top ranked academic institutions.

Daughter Rokeay Willson has followed in her mother’s footsteps — she is also a member of the Bermuda Bar and practices as a solicitor in family law in England, while her other daughter, Diana Crosbie, has just graduated with a first class honours degree in psychology from Kingston University and is studying for an M Sc. in the subject.

Judge Dangor, who attended the Central School and Berkeley Insitute and finished her schooling in England, was called to the Bar of England and Wales and practiced in family and criminal law.

She was appointed an assistant recorder, a part-time judge, in 1991, becoming a full recorder in 1998 before being promoted a Circuit Judge in 1999.

She sat in criminal courts and family and civil law courts around the London area, moving to her last position at Harrow Crown Court in 2008.

Judge Dangor, the sister of Finance Minister Bob Richards and Bermuda College lecturer and author Angela Barry, is the daughter of Bermuda’s first black Premier, Sir Edward Richards.

She said that, although she has lived in England for much of her life, she still has strong links to Bermuda, owns a home here and is a member of the Bermuda Bar.

She added: “We are all very different in temperament, but we are a very close family.

“I am in Bermuda almost every year and I have sat on various Benches in Bermuda.”

Judge Dangor said: “Once you have children and grandchildren in a place other than your home, it’s more difficult to go back to your original home.

“I will come back to Bermuda as often as I can and I’d like to help the justice system in Bermuda as much as I can.” n