Blackmail, Inappropriate Touching And Assault, Amongst Some Other Offences: Annual Judicial Roll Of Shame Released

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.