Authorities in Brisbane have found the body of missing Federal Circuit Court judge Guy Andrew, five days after he was reported missing.
Family Court Chief Justice William Alstergren issued a statement on Thursday night confirming a body discovered by searchers in bushland at The Gap in western Brisbane was that of Judge Andrew.
“His tragic passing is a timely reminder of the extraordinary pressure on all who practise in the often highly emotive family law jurisdiction,” Justice Alstergren said.
Judge Andrew, 55, was last seen on Sunday driving in the direction of Mount Coot-tha where he frequently walked.
His car was found in Dillon Road at The Gap later that afternoon.
— Queensland Police (@QldPolice) October 8, 2020
Police said Judge Andrew left home without many of his personal items, and had left his mobile phone behind.
Justice Alstergren said Judge Andrew was “loved and admired by many”.
“The esteem in which he was held was evident by the large number of judges, barristers, solicitors, associates and other court staff who took an active part in the search for him,” Justice Alstergren said.
The search for Judge Andrew continued for several days, gradually expanding across bushland around Mount Coot-tha and involving police divers, Polair, drones, SES volunteers as well as members of the community.
On Thursday, members of the Australian Defence Force joined the search.
Judge Andrew’s body was discovered on Thursday afternoon in bushland near Enoggera Reservoir.
Judge recently transferred to Brisbane for ‘counselling’
Judge Andrew was appointed as Townsville’s full-time Federal Circuit Court judge in March last year.
Last month, a Family Court spokesperson said Judge Andrew had been temporarily transferred to Brisbane to receive “counselling [and] mentoring” and for his sittings to be monitored after his decision in a parenting and property settlement case was set aside.
Judge Andrew’s ruling had been appealed by a man who argued Judge Andrew was “critical, dismissive, sarcastic and rude” to his lawyers and tried to humiliate them.
The Family Court found Judge Andrew’s treatment of the man’s solicitor was “hectoring, insulting, belittling, sarcastic and rude”.
A decision was due before Christmas on whether Judge Andrew would return to Townsville next year.
Justice Alstergren said Judge Andrew’s transition to the bench resulted in “some initial, unforeseen challenges”.
“Guy, with the support and encouragement so freely offered by his colleagues was navigating his way through these challenges with all the determination that marked all that he did and especially marked what he did in the service of others,” Justice Alstergren said.
“His Honour will be remembered as a fine, highly respected barrister and a diligent and determined judge who lived a life of service to others and to the law.
“His Honour is survived by his wife Nicole and daughters Bridget and Morgan.”
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