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

Judge Peter Henry, who knew John Dixon as a close friend and colleague for 30 years, described him as ‘the most human and humane of people’.

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

“He made time for people,” Judge Henry 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.”

In 2008 Judge Dixon 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 the pair 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.”