A Judge's Grave

Interred at Tunstall Parish Church is the Right Honourable Sir Charles Mantell, who is buried with his wife. His Honour was tasked with trying the infamous Rosemary West at Winchester Crown Court in 1995. In Bermuda, where he had served on the Bench, the Royal Gazette reported in his obituary:

"He harnessed a seemingly effortless courtroom manner with an iron nerve throughout the seven-week trial which, because of unprecedented pretrial press coverage, became the focus of worldwide attention."

In 1993, however, Sir Charles was publicly criticised for being too lenient on a man who killed a woman by mowing her down, committing him to only four years' custody. Sentencing is a difficult exercise, and the information taken into account by judges may not always be known to newspapers and the public. Still, Sir Charles is now appearing before the world’s fairest, most competent and most dreadful Judge of them all- Jesus Christ Himself. He is the judge 'unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid’. Graciously, He paid for repentant defendants' crimes by His death on the cross. Whether human judges apply for that special pardon, we do not know.

David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.” 2 Samuel 24:14