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Northern Ireland's first female County Court judge has died at the age of 62.

By Lesley-Anne McKeown, Press Association

Tributes have been paid to Northern Ireland's first female County Court judge who has died at the age of 62.

Judge Corinne Philpott QC, the Deputy Recorder of Belfast, died on Thursday evening.

Lord Chief Justice Sir Declan Morgan, the region's most senior judge, said she had paved the way for others.

Sir Declan said: "Judge Philpott was a dedicated and passionate member of the judiciary in Northern Ireland.

"She was a trailblazer."

A former Queen's University graduate, Judge Philpott was called to the Bar in December 1977 and took silk in December 1993.

She was a Deputy County Court judge from 1993 until April 1998 when she became the first woman in the jurisdiction to be appointed a County Court judge.

She was also Recorder of Londonderry for six years from 2002 until 2008 and was made Deputy Recorder of Belfast four years ago.

Sir Declan added: "She was the first female County Court judge in Northern Ireland, and the second female to take silk in this jurisdiction.

"She was compassionate to those who came before her and had an innate sense of justice and fairness.

"Her wit, hard work and dedication to the courts, justice and the most vulnerable people in society will leave a huge void.

"We will all miss her terribly."

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