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Guy Opperman is the Member of Parliament for Hexham. He gave his maiden speech on the subject of prison reform and changes to the criminal justice system.
Guy spent 20 years as a barrister – 15 years of which were spent predominantly at the criminal bar. Guy prosecuted and defended in multiple murder and rape trials, and conducted hundreds of Crown Court trials all cross the country.
He was one of the key members of a local Free Representation Unit, which over a 7 year period provided free legal assistance in hundreds of cases on behalf of Victim Support and Citizens Advice Bureau. The scheme is now being copied nationwide. In 2007 Guy was awarded the Bar Pro Bono Award by the former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith QC, both for his voluntary work on behalf of victims in Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals, but also for his campaign against hospital closures in the town where he was born.
He has 20 years’ experience of visiting prisons from Bristol and Durham, to Brixton and beyond, as a lawyer and MP. In 2009 the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland QC, gave him a Pro Bono Hero award in the House of Commons for his pro bono work campaigning to prevent hospital closures
On weekends off he still rides as a slightly fat jockey.