“Tell them I’m coming down”
A judge who once described Lord Harley “as like something out of Harry Potter” has hit headlines once again after it emerged he went to deal with a noisy prisoner at Cardiff Crown Court in person.
Having initially warned the agitated prisoner — who was in a holding area underneath the courtroom — it would appear Judge David Wynn Morgan took matters into his own hands, after his warnings went unheeded.
According to news website Wales Online, Judge Morgan stopped the witness and addressed the jury, telling them:
Someone who is downstairs as a guest of Her Majesty seems dissatisfied with his accommodation.
No longer able to hear the witness’ evidence over the continued banging on the cell door, Judge Morgan told — a presumably shocked — security guard to inform the prisoner that if it didn’t stop, he’d come down and sort it himself.
Having allowed the jury and witnesses to leave the courtroom for a break, Judge Morgan — still wearing his wig and robes — asked the security guard to take him down to the cells. While it’s not clear what the hands-on judge said to the prisoner, it appears to have worked, with the report stating there were no further disturbances.
Last summer, Judge Morgan, a former barrister, was cleared of any wrongdoing by Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), over comments he made at the end of a trial in 2014. Appearing before Judge Morgan wearing colourful ribbons and badges on his gown, solicitor-advocate Harley — aka Alan Blacker — was described by Morgan “as like something out of Harry Potter”.