United Kingdom

More than 50 judges rapped for rudeness and shut eye during court cases


More than 50 judges and magistrates have landed in their profession’s own dock this year for bad behaviour.

They were rapped for misconduct from web rants to rudeness and appearing to nod off in court.

Judge Adrian Reynolds, who has hit out at pitiful sentences for
bad drivers’ crimes, was reprimanded for failing to tell a judicial conduct watchdog of some of his own speeding convictions.

The East Midlands beak is now serving a six-month driving ban.

Family court judge Melanie Hay was ticked off for making a “derogatory remark” to a party in a case – one of nine top legal eagles and magistrates rapped for inappropriate language in court.

And Carmarthenshire JP Eric Murphy got a misconduct warning from the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office after being “seen to have his eyes closed” during a hearing.

Deputy district judge David Hebblethwaite was one of two given “formal advice” after misusing social media.

And Nottinghamshire judge Jeremy Lea was rapped for accessing confidential files in a case where he was a prosecution witness “without legitimate reason”.

Rulings by the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor have topped 54 so far this year – which is only one short of a record.

A watchdog spokesman said: “Complaints upheld are a very small proportion of the 20,000 judicial office holders within
the JCIO remit.”


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