Legal giants square up in court battle

TWO giants of the legal world were due to square up today as the man accused of Ipswich's red-light killings took to the dock.

TWO giants of the legal world were due to square up today as the man accused of Ipswich's red-light killings took to the dock.

Timothy Langdale QC, the lawyer behind the prosecution of Sarah Payne's killer was today announced as the defence counsel for murder suspect Steven Wright, 49.

He will take on the prosecutor in the Harold Shipman case, Peter Wright QC at Ipswich Crown Court.

Mr Langdale will be joined on his team by junior counsel Neil Saunders, a specialist criminal and serious fraud advocate who conducts leading and junior work in all areas including murder and allegations of serial crimes.

He has also defended in cases of alleged police corruption and police disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Langdale is most noted for his successful prosecution of Roy Whiting, the man responsible for the abduction and murder of eight-year-old Sarah Payne in Sussex.

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He is described by Chambers & Partners, a web resource for legal professionals, as having a quality of performance “more polished than an Aladdin's lamp”.

And Chambers & Partners also state he “would feature highly in any dream team of criminal fraud barristers”.

Mr Langdale became a Queen's Counsel in 1992 and in 2003 was appointed appeal steward for the British Boxing Board of Control

His defence cases include the acquittal of Sean Fugill on corporate manslaughter charges in 2005.

Mr Fugill was the area asset manager of Railtrack's London North East Zone at the time of the Hatfield rail crash in 2000.

He also defended Colonel Jorge Medonca, who last year was acquitted of negligently performing the duty of ensuring Iraqi civilians were not ill treated by his men.

It was found that there was no case to answer against the 43-year-old.

Mr Langdale of Cloth Fair Chambers in London, is, according to the firm's website, currently working on several cases and has been instructed to represent the News of the World in a forthcoming libel action brought by jockey Kieren Fallon.

Peter Wright QC, who prosecutes Wright, helped bring Harold Shipman to justice in 2000.

The general practitioner was convicted of 15 sample murder charges and committed suicide in 2004.

An inquest decided that there was enough evidence to suggest that Shipman had killed a total of 215 people, mostly women.

And Mr Wright was also instructed to represent Stephen Akinmurele, 21, a suspected serial killer who killed himself while on remand awaiting trial for the murder of three pensioners in Blackpool.

He was also suspected of several murders on the Isle of Man.

Wright was originally represented by Karim Khalil QC but sacked his legal team in February.

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