Magistrate rebuked for calling junior barrister ‘huffy’ after she was mistaken for defendant three times in one day
Jacqueline Mitchell handed formal warning for ‘ill judged’ tweet
A magistrate who called a mixed-race junior barrister “huffy” for complaining about being mistaken for a defendant three times in one day has been issued with a formal warning.
Jacqueline Mitchell JP made the remark on Twitter after 5SAH tenant Alexandra Wilson went public with the incident last September, the Evening Standard reports.
In a series of tweets, Wilson told how a security guard, a fellow lawyer and court clerk, all assumed her to be the defendant to a case, ordering her to leave or wait outside the courtroom.
Mitchell tweeted in response to a report of the incident: “I usually don’t get recognised for the role I serve when I go to court and I’m one of the magistrates. But never have I got huffy with a ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ response.”
Her now-deleted tweet sparked anger on social media, with several users calling on court officials to take action.
In a statement issued this month, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said the magistrate has been handed a formal warning by senior judges for “an ill judged remark on social media, which risked undermining her credibility and standing as a judicial office-holder”.
“In making their decision, they took into consideration that Miss Mitchell had apologised for her actions and taken remedial steps,” the office statement said.
Wilson received an apology from the chief executive of HM Courts and Tribunals Service for the original incident. This year’s Legal Cheek Best Use of Social Media winner also lodged a formal complaint.