A retired district judge, who was in general practice in Basingstoke, Andover and wider Hampshire area for more than 26 years before becoming a full-time judge, has published a new legal book aimed at helping ordinary people taking action themselves without having to hire an extensive lawyer.

Judge Stephen Gold, who has many years’ experience both as a recently retired civil and family judge and as a practising solicitor, said he has tried to make complex laws understandable and digestible in his book 'The Return of Breaking Law: A Judges Guide to Your Legal Rights, Winning in Court Or Losing Well'.

“I want readers to have a good read and, hopefully, a laugh at the same time as discovering how they can try and ensure that they avoid getting into a court case in the first place or achieve coming out of it as the victor or as best they can,” he said about the book.

The book is full of self-help tips including writing formal agreements, appearing in court, making complaints, challenging parking fines etc.

Television journalist and writer, who wrote the foreword for the book, said it is a great help to understanding but is replete with the wisdom of caution.

“It is seldom wise to go to court but, if needs must, the book helps you understand your chances of success and the potential costs of failure; and, because it is Stephen Gold, it is funny, refreshing and rich in anecdotes from the frontline.”

Judge Gold, from Langstone, started his legal career in Gosport, and was one of the original television “legal eagles” providing advice slots on Southern Television, then TVS and also on Radio Solent. He has appeared on many national television and radio programmes since.

Among the programmes he contributed to have been the Jimmy Young Programme, The One Show, Panorama, Top Gear, Pebble Mill at One, The Home Service and Radio 5’s Drivetime.

One of the pioneers of live legal advice phone-ins he has helped many hundreds over the airwaves on LBC and BBC Radio Solent as well as Richard and Judy.

While a judge, he was an accredited media spokesman for the judiciary and is a long standing columnist for the leading legal weekly New Law Journal. His columns have also appeared in House Beautiful and The Independent.