TRIBUTES have been paid to Hampshire judge John Dixon who died on Monday.

Close friend and colleague of 30 years Judge Peter Henry today described him as the most human and humane of people.

Paying tribute at Southampton Crown Court he said Judge Dixon was gentle, unfailingly courteous, charming and an excellent judge.

“He made time for people,” he told the assembly of fellow judges, barristers and court staff.

“He was studious and well read. He was loved by all those who appeared in front of him. He was above all a man of the most generous spirit.”

Judge Dixon regularly sat at Southampton, Winchester and Salisbury crown courts.

In 2008 he made headlines for telling a jury that they had got it wrong when they acquitted a man of a violent robbery at a Winchester petrol station.

In 2009 he was in the news again for urging two teenagers convicted of assault to read William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies, saying that they had behaved “like wild animals” and could learn something from Golding’s story of public schoolboys gone feral.

On behalf of the bar, David Jenkins said: “Even the meanest barrister would melt in front of him after a few questions.

“He always got the right answer in the end. He will be sorely missed.”