Most of the 79 members of the judiciary disciplined for misconduct last year were magistrates, although some senior judges found themselves in hot water, too – the freshly-released Office for Judicial Complaints annual report reveals. Here are the highlights.
District Judge Michael Wood – “inappropriate” touching and comments
Deputy High Court Judge James Allen QC – assault (or, as the Mail put it, “battering his wife because she hadn’t cooked his dinner”)
Circuit Judge Beatrice Bolton – quit after being convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act
Lord Justice Thorpe – failing to inform judicial authorities of his driving ban
Recorder Nadine Radford QC – drink driving
Magistrates were removed from office for, amongst other things, being jailed for seven years for blackmailing a man in order to pay a drug debt, being sentenced to four and a half years in jail for manslaughter, “behaving in an offensive manner towards another magistrate” and because “his behaviour and appearance while shopping fell below the standards expected”.
A total of 1,615 complaints made against the approximately 30,000 members of the judiciary during 2011-12 – a slight fall on the previous year. However, almost half (789) were about decisions taken in cases – and so could not be considered – while 251 are still being investigated.