Carl Langdell admits the murder of Katie Locke

Carl Langdell admits the murder of Katie Locke

Photo from the BBC


On Christmas Eve 2015 Carl Langdell, a 26 year old lawyer, killed Katie Locke, a 23 year old teacher, in a Hertfordshire Hotel.

On 18th March 2016 he admitted murder at St Alban’s Crown Court. The case was adjourned to 18th April for sentence. This is in part for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

At this stage, there are very few facts available (other than that Ms Locke was strangled, so it is hard to say what will Mr Langdell will get. We know that he will get a life sentence, but the question next month will be what the tariff – the minimum period of time that Mr Langdell will have to spend in prison – will be.

He pleaded guilty at the PCMH, but it seems that the Preliminary Hearing was adjourned for there to be investigation into his mental state, so it may well be that he gets full credit for the plea – although as is a murder, this is limited to 1/6 off the tariff.


Is Mr Langdell a lawyer?

This was a question that vexed some of the lawyers on twitter (and elsewhere) when his arrest was made public – see Legal Cheek’s coverage here, here, and here for examples.

There was also an issue in that he said that he ran his own law ‘firm’ – Langdell Legal Associates.

Although having pleaded guilty to murder, this is all fairly academic of course. But the short answer is that, from a regulatory viewpoint, he hasn’t done anything wrong. There’s a fuller answer as to why here, but anyone can call themselves a lawyer.

Similarly, a firm can offer to supply legal services, in certain areas only, without falling foul of the law, even if they aren’t solicitors or barristers. If you want, you can test yourself here – see especially the last question.

Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.