A COURT judge has stepped down after revealing he had 'had enough' of the emotional toil from trying a series of horrifying child grooming gang cases in the city.

Judge Peter Ross officially retired last week after a career presiding over some of the biggest cases at Oxford Crown Court.

The 65-year-old well-known figure on the Oxford circuit said he would spend his retirement with his family out of the area.

Speaking to the Oxford Mail before his final sitting day he said: "I had no intention to go on until 70.

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"I have done some major cases over the last three years including the last three Oxford grooming trials.

"They were exhausting [and also] emotional because of what you are listening to.

"And intellectually because the areas are relatively new or novel law is involved, and from a case management perspective particularly they are simply huge.

"I decided I had had enough, because of their sheer size and because one listens not just to the accounts of what happened, awful though they are, but you also see the terrible consequences upon the lives of the young women who have been the victims.

"Their lives are destroyed and that's quite distressing to observe at close quarters."

He added: "I challenge anyone to be left untouched by some of the horrifying stories you listen to."

Judge Ross went on to warn that the justice system he was leaving behind was facing a 'tremendous backlog' which he said could not be blamed solely on Covid 19.

He said there were about 37,000 cases now in a backlog and called the closures of some magistrates' courts in recent years 'madness.'

He said the Ministry of Justice had been hit hard by budgets cuts and that ‘there isn't sufficient value placed upon our system of justice.’

He added: “I would like the public to wake up to the situation and start tackling their politicians about it.”