Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

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Dame Bobbie Cheema-Grubb


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IN THE venerable halls of the British legal system, diversity and representation have long been an aspiration rather than reality. But in recent years, the landscape has slowly begun to shift, thanks in part to trailblazers like Dame Bobbie Cheema-Grubb, the first Asian woman to be appointed a UK high court judge. The Hon Mrs Justice Cheema-Grubb, a judge of the King’s Bench Division of the high court, believes in speaking powerful words through her judgments. She was the presiding judge in the Finsbury Park terrorist attack case, and while delivering the judgment, she remarked: “We must respond to evil with good,” highlighting the intervention of the imam who prevented the crowd from attacking the perpetrator, to let justice take its course. “His response should be everyone’s response,” she implored. Her judgments are marked by clarity, wisdom, and a profound understanding of the complex issues at stake, experts conclude. In November last year, she told Joe Metcalfe, who, at the age of 15, planned a murderous assault on the mosque in Keighley, West Yorkshire, that he was at “high risk of posing serious harm to others through sexual behaviour and future acts of terror”, while sentencing him to 10 years for terror offences and rape. “You are stuck in a racist and extremist mindset,” she said, adding: “Although everyone has the potential to change, I am not convinced there is any yet.” And, she didn’t mince words when handing out 36 life sentences in February last year to former policeman David Carrick for a “monstrous” string of 71 sexual offences against 12 women.

She said Carrick, whose crimes included 48 rapes, had “brazenly raped and sexually assaulted” his victims, believing himself to be “untouchable” due to his position which afforded him “exceptional powers to coerce and control”. Some of the

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