Belfast Telegraph

Solicitor with 15-year role at Public Prosecution Service to take over as chief

A solicitor who helped transform the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) has been appointed its new head.

Stephen Herron will take up his post as Director of Public Prosecutions on January 2.

His predecessor, Barra McGrory QC, is returning to private legal practice.

Attorney General John Larkin QC said Mr Herron had extensive experience in criminal law and was currently acting deputy DPP.

"I have already had the pleasure of working with Stephen in his current role and in other senior roles within the PPS and I look forward to working with him as he shapes the Public Prosecution Service of the future," he said.

"It is an agreeable duty to pay tribute to Barra McGrory on his retirement as director and to thank him for generous and committed public service in that role."

Mr Herron has worked in the PPS for the last 15 years and said he was honoured by the promotion.

He became senior assistant director in 2013, taking the lead on a number of criminal justice reform initiatives and overall responsibility for the prosecution of 50,000 cases annually.

He played a leading role in the Transformation programme for the PPS, which has involved the roll-out of a digital programme across courts; creation of specialist prosecutors for murder and serious offences; the streamlining of regional services and redesigning the support provided to victims and witnesses.

He was appointed acting deputy director of public prosecutions in May this year.

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