The judge and the "f***ing travesty"

This week in Carlisle Magistrates' Court Beatrice Bolton was fined £2,500 on her conviction for failing to keep her dog under control.  The dog had gone into her neighbours' garden and bitten the young man sunbathing there (this was on 31 May - not during the recent snow!).

OK - dog bites man - hardly news you may say.

But what makes the case interesting is that Beatrice Bolton is, in her day job, a Crown Court judge and that, when she was convicted, Ms Bolton shouted in court "this is a f***ing travesty!".

That behaviour puts her position as a Crown Court judge in jeopardy since it shows apparent disrespect for courts and the rule of law.

Judge Bolton has apologised and said the case had put her under terrible strain.  But that could also be true of any defendant in criminal proceedings.

Personally I think Ms Bolton should continue as a judge and will be a better one for having had the experience of being in the dock and seeing the criminal justice system from a defendant's perspective.

Indeed I would like to see every judge, as part of their training, put in the dock to see the 'view' from there.  But that is perhaps too much to hope for.

David

Comments

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Phil Rees's picture

I think she should be str*** off.

Phil Rees | | Permalink

Human

The Black Knight | | Permalink

I think it shows she was human, sometimes we all do stupid stuff, particulary verbals that you wish you had not.

She should keep her Job, all the training in the world cannot beat a real life learning experience.

a warning should suffice.and that should be the end of it. hardly crime of the century.

 

I am amazed this article was allowed on AWeb

chatman | | Permalink

Interesting post (as always from David).  Presumably f*** is the four letter Anglo-Saxon verb meaning to fornicate, which can be found in all respected dictionaries and is normally considered to be a swear word. 

Whilst I should point out that I do not find the f word offensive, I was under the impression that swearing was not allowed on AWeb because AWeb readers would be unable to read it without feeling hurt and upset.

Maybe it was allowed because the "uck" was replaced by "***" so that no-one would actually know which word David was really thinking of. Quite frankly that is the only explanation I can think of. I accept that one or two of you might find this explanation ridiculous, but what other explanation could there be? Until I hear a better one, I will continue to think of AWeb as hypocritical and unable to justify its own policies (which, I accept, it is not required to do).

Having said all that however, I doubt that AWeb's willingness to permit legitimate debate will extend as far as allowing this post even to be seen.

Phil Rees's picture

Strictly speaking, the "F" word is not a swear word. It is taboo

Phil Rees | | Permalink

Swear words are those like "bl**dy", "blimey" and "damn" which refer to religious matters.

 

and it was a quote !!

The Black Knight | | Permalink

how else was the quote to be made ?

Central to the article too !!

davidwinch's picture

Quoting the F word in the press

davidwinch | | Permalink

I see that today's Guardian quotes the F word in full, whereas the BBC refers only to swearing.  Most newspapers seem to have opted for the 'stars' approach as in, for example, the Daily Mail.

It may well be that the powers that be at AWEB have not yet seen this thread - perhaps I am due a ticking off, rather like the BBC radio anchorman who recently had a spooner style slip of the tongue when referring to the Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.  That's one I wouldn't put on AWEB!

David

a street called hunt

The Black Knight | | Permalink

and yet I am told there is a street with a similar name to hunt lane in london !

Swearing/Taboo Slang

chatman | | Permalink

Correct, Phil, but people always refer to it as swearing. In fact, I was told off, censored and accused of flaming by AWeb for describing QuickBooks  as cr*p (although obviously I did not use asterisks); the justification being that it was a swear word. 

carnmores's picture

Bugger off the lot of you

carnmores | | Permalink

bunch of shing wits

and a Merry Christmas to one and all and yes that includes you ***********

THE B WORD

The Black Knight | | Permalink

how come the B word is more acceptable ? just proves it's all nonsense !

cymraeg_draig's picture

Resign

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

It's interesting to see an argument over anglo saxon words which were once a normal part of the language but are now considered taboo. A fairly recent example being a very common name for chocolate coloured dogs including one owned by Guy Gibson of dambusters fame which is now taboo because it, apparantly, is offensive to one section of society yet, bizarrely, is often used by that same section of society as a term of endearment.  

As regards this Judge, I have no doubt that many who have faced her in court feel that her rulings were  "a f***ing travesty" too. The point about this outburst is that it shows total contempt for the court, and, in my opinion, there is no way that a Judge can continue to sit and expect respect for the court from others when she has shown no respect herself.

In my view she should have the decency to resign.

 

carnmores's picture

looks like humour is to be banned as well

carnmores | | Permalink

well my brand anyway

"looks like humour is to be banned as well"

chatman | | Permalink

Why? 

Becky Midgley's picture

Application of the rules

Becky Midgley | | Permalink

Thanks for bringing this up, we're always happy to debate our guidelines and their application.

When we devised the Discussion Groups we spoke in depth about how best they should be moderated. It was decided that the group managers would largely take control for the content within, and that, since they were private discussions we would not apply a heavy hand to minor bendings of the rules.

If anyone is offended, we apologise, but in this instance, and as it is a quote and is not aimed at any member in a dispute or intended to offend anyone, we decided it should stay. It is central to David's discussion post and it's a shame really that this discussion has centered around the use of language on Aweb rather than by a judge in court.

Clarification

chatman | | Permalink

So would you say it is the intention to offend, rather than swearing, that is banned on AWeb Becky?

cymraeg_draig's picture

.

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

If its good enough for the front page of a newspaper, surely its good enough for AWeb.  I'm afraid some people are starting to sound like the seriously sad people who are whinging about a couple of singers on XFactor being too sexy. Just shows how insidious political correctness and the influence of idiots like Harriet Harman can be. 

BACK ON TOPIC - It doesnt matter what language the judge used, that is NOT the point.  The point is that she showed disrespect for the court, and in so doing, demonstrated that she can no longer demand respect from others. 

 

No reason to resign

chatman | | Permalink

 I think she should carry on in her job having given the public the knowledge that these people are nothing special, no better than the rest of us. Also she should only be judged on how she does her job, not what she does when she is not working. Mind you, after my previous posts I could hardly be calling for her to resign over using the f word.

nogammonsinanundoubledgame's picture

There is no ...

nogammonsinanun... | | Permalink

... fundamental law of nature which dictates that respect has to be a two-way street.

Still, I bet she and her neighbour get on well now.  (Not)

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

Harriet Harman

chatman | | Permalink

C_D you intentionally said something offensive about Harriet Harman. Whilst I can't stand her either, and would have been quite happy with the use of a taboo word in connection with her, surely you fall foul of the intention-to-offend rule.

cymraeg_draig's picture

Rules ???????????

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

C_D you intentionally said something offensive about Harriet Harman. Whilst I can't stand her either, and would have been quite happy with the use of a taboo word in connection with her, surely you fall foul of the intention-to-offend rule.

Posted by chatman on Wed, 15/12/2010 - 20:49

 

What "rule" would that be?  I would love the opportunity to tell that hatchet faced politically correct useless expenses fiddling muppet exactly what I think of her, B'Liar, McDoom and all the rest of the Labour rabble who have spent 13 years systematically destroying this country and selling us out to a bunch of EU civil serpants. And I wouldnt need to use a single swear word - just a barrel of tar and some feathers.

Getting back to topic - again ................... how can this judge now possibly complain if a defendant, or counsel, in her court fails to show respect for the court?  How can she object if witnesses and counsel decsend into an expetive filled slanging match?  Her authority is completely destroyed and she cannot be allowed to sit in judgement of others again.

 

davidwinch's picture

C_D

davidwinch | | Permalink

Do you not think that part of your description of Ms Harmen is libellous and actionable?

Whilst it might be entirely proper to describe a certain former MP in those terms I would invite you to reconsider "e... f..." and remove those words.

If you fail to do so I shall PM Miss Whiplash to sort you out!!

David

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I thought the dog in question was a black lab, not a chocolate o

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

Back to David's original point, having now read the article, I think he is being naive if he thinks she will have more compassion as a judge having now been in the dock herself. My view is that she still thinks she is in the right, has absolutely no remorse or contrition and is more likely to deliver overly harsh penalties out of spite, but that is just my personal opinion!

C_D's posting

alistair_king | | Permalink

Can C_D be successfully sued for libel when his comments on expenses don't say anything that isn't already public knowledge?

Daily Telegraph - 25.0509 - "Harriet Harman and five other Cabinet ministers were told they had breached the Commons' rules on office expenses by allowing party political propaganda to be published in taxpayer-funded annual reports, leaflets and on taxpayer-funded websites."

You can find the full article here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5380121/MPs-expenses-Ministers-caught-claiming-for-party-political-propaganda.html

Also according to the Telegraph: "Harriet Harman hired Scarlett MccGwire for "consultancy" services on the public purse. Claimed for party political propaganda and bought expensive gadgets.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5297606/MPs-expenses-Full-list-of-MPs-investigated-by-the-Telegraph.html

What C_D didn't mention was how very hard she worked to try to keep the entire scandal under the table.

Wikipedia - "In January 2009, Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons, tabled a motion which would exempt MPs' expenses from being disclosed under a Freedom of Information request, in order to prevent any further disclosure of information."

London Evening Standards - 19.02.10 - "Harriet Harman gagged auditor in MPs' expenses inquiry"

nogammonsinanundoubledgame's picture

Unless it has been edited ...

nogammonsinanun... | | Permalink

... the only derogatory reference to Harriet Harman that I can find in the early postings on this page is that she is an idiot.  Arguably there may or may not be a direct link between that allegation and those published in the Telegraph, Wiki or elsewhere.

If it is a defamatory allegation (in other words if she is NOT in fact an idiot and she is some way damaged by propogating an illusion that she is), then I am not convinced that it is actionable, as it is clearly stated as an opinion.  I may be wrong about that.  Of course if she wished to sue then she would open up the debate in court as to whether she was in fact an idiot, which would be a valid defence.  I doubt that she would want to go there.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

Unless it has been edited...

alistair_king | | Permalink

David's comment was 'I would invite you to reconsider "e... f..." and remove those words'

Unless it hes been edited, I can only find one word pair that meets that in C_D's post.

carnmores's picture

Well

carnmores | | Permalink

politicians sueing for libel - i would have thought the public interest defence is a shoe in

Careful C-D

rworboys | | Permalink

If anyone has grounds for action it must be the innocent muppets who have harmed no one but now find themselves likened to Harriet Harman!

cymraeg_draig's picture

Expenses fiddling

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

 

If you fail to do so I shall PM Miss Whiplash to sort you out!!

 

Posted by davidwinch on Wed, 15/12/2010 - 23:03

 

I'm still trying to decide whether that is a threat or a promise? "Miss Whiplash????"  You never know, I might enjoy that :) 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Do you not think that part of your description of Ms Harmen is libellous and actionable?

Whilst it might be entirely proper to describe a certain former MP in those terms I would invite you to reconsider "e... f..." and remove those words.

Posted by davidwinch on Wed, 15/12/2010 - 23:03

 

I wouldn't dream of editing my post or removing those words.  The truth cannot be libelous and I would love to have the opportunity to subpeona all Harman's expenses claims since she first entered parliament and to have then thoroughly investigated.  I would, of course, then be obliged to file a money laundering report. It would be interesting to see exactly what she has claimed in detail, and, to also see what else she tried to claim in addition.

As regards the use of the term "idiot" - that of course is a matter of opinion, but, given her recorded track record on positive discrimination and political correctness, and some of the bizarre statements she has made in parliament (all of course proven by Hansard) I dont think there would be any difficulty in proving it to be a very reasonable opinion.

 

carnmores's picture

Hear hear C_D

carnmores | | Permalink

i am sure you know about the law than the rest of us put together; now remind me who was the last MP to sue  err, Jonathan Aitken?

davidwinch's picture

C_D

davidwinch | | Permalink

I am disappointed by your response.

It seems to me that being rude about a politician and having a rant is fair game, but an allegation of dishonesty in financial matters (in the absence it would appear of any supporting evidence whatsoever) crosses a line that should not be crossed.

Reiterating the unsupported and defamatory assertion makes matters worse.

I think you have let yourself down.

I have sent a PM to Becky asking her to review the thread.

David

Becky Midgley's picture

Apologies for the delay in returning this thread to you

Becky Midgley | | Permalink

You may have noticed that this thread has been down for most of the day, sorry about this but we take allegations of libel seriously, and we must investigate them with proper procedure.

It is worth noting that David was quite right to bring this to our attention for review, and after reviewing the thread in its entirety, and looking at the supporting evidence offered up by other members, we are happy to conclude that no edits are deemed necessary at this time.

The important thing here is that C_D's comment is held within the context of breaching the 'Commons' rules on office expenses' as reported by the Telegraph and quoted later in the thread.

We value members who take an interest in our legal position, it sometimes hangs on a knife-edge, but this is a private discussion, full of 'consenting' adults and we feel that our legal position has not been compromised here, additionally, it is important to us that you feel free to 'get things off your chest' (within reason of course!) so since we can't offer a Q&A session between C_D and HH we'll have to make do here!

If anyone has any concerns or wants more information on our policy or procedure please get in touch with me.

davidwinch's picture

Well, call me old fashioned . . .

davidwinch | | Permalink

Call me old fashioned if you like - but using the wrong stationery (even pre-paid envelopes) doesn't amount to "expenses fiddling" in my eyes - especially in the light of the current prosecutions of former members of parliament for submitting allegedly dishonest expenses claims.

Nor did it appear to me that that was the import of C_D's allegation, which he coupled with a later comment about investigating all Ms Harman's expenses claims.

However Becky has spoken and I respect her decision.

David

carnmores's picture

i am slightly but not totally surprised by David Winch

carnmores | | Permalink

what a killjoy - you obviously seem to think that everything should be reported to some authority or other. Nothing C_D has said is demonstrably wrong or libelous in my opinion - lighten up - long live free educated speech

cymraeg_draig's picture

Censorship ?

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

Just to set the record straight David, here is a useful link -

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5380079/MPs-expenses-Public-paid-for-Cabinet-ministers-to-have-media-makeovers.html

Harman spent taxpayer's money on expenses which should have been paid for by herself, or the party. 

 

She also attempted to cover up the scandal by abusing her position in parliament - http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23807742-harriet-harman-gagged-auditor-in-mps-expenses-inquiry.do

 

a COMPLETE defence to an accusation of libel is that what was said is true, and of course in this case, there is the added justification that it is in the public interest that the facts be made public (which would completely rule out any attempt to stifle publication).

Whilst you may be an expert on money laundering, I suggest that your knowledge on the law of libel is somewhat lacking.

 

 

 

davidwinch's picture

Clarifying my position

davidwinch | | Permalink

The AWEB website describes me as "Group Manager" of the Money Laundering and Crime Discussion group.  A casual observer might assume from that description that I in some way moderate the postings in this discussion group.  In fact I do not, and indeed can not, moderate or edit the postings here (except for the postings which I make myself, which carry my name and photograph).

I know of absolutely no evidence to suggest that Ms Harman has been dishonest in connection with her expenses as an MP nor am I aware of anything to suggest that she has abused her position in parliament in relation to the expenses claims of any other MP or MPs.

Accordingly I entirely disassociate myself from any posting here which makes or supports such allegations.

I am very careful in the words I use.  My professional reputation depends upon it.

David

get a grip you two.............

ianw33 | | Permalink

Two old blokes bickering over what started as a thread about one woman judge and her f**king dog.

I've really got to the stage where i wonder if its worth wasting my time with Aweb any longer.

Come on Mod - do your job - one of these two will have a thrombosis before the night's out!

cymraeg_draig's picture

MY views

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

Perhaps a little more investigation of the facts might put your mind at rest David.  The use of taxpayers money for party purposes by Harriet Harman and others is a matter of public record, as is her attempt to hide the facts from the public (as proven in Hansard).

Never concern yourself about my ability to defend myself. I never, ever, walk away from a fight. I have a framed print  handed to me many years ago by a colleague after I had torn his "star" witnesses apart.  On it is inscribed quite simply -

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil ........ cos I'm the meanest son of a bitch in the whole damn valley".

I think he was trying to tell me something :) 

I'm very happy with my reputation for being absolutely fearless and ruthless in pursuit of the truth and the defence of my clients regardless of who I might upset.  

 

davidwinch's picture

Wise words from a surprising quarter

davidwinch | | Permalink

Getting back to our original topic of a lawyer making an idiot of herself, I have to say that (perhaps unfairly) I would not expect to find wise words emanating from a Los Angeles lawyer.  But I was pleasantly surprised by the quotation:

"Perhaps an attorney’s greatest asset as a professional is his or her capacity to provide dispassionate, objective advice to clients who are emotionally overwrought".

It comes from an article "When You Have a Fool for a Client" concerning lawyers who act as their own legal advisers.

David

Professionals and opinions

The Black Knight | | Permalink

my father said to me " now that you are a professional you can never be wrong as it is your opinion " perhaps not quite true in todays world.

But they are opinions even if expressed somewhat agressively at times.

Don't fall out guys I for one value both your contributions.

Both of you would be out of work without differences of opinion ! lol

carnmores's picture

one very old adage in that articles title

carnmores | | Permalink

so moving on to legal quotes

Judge     'i am none the wiser'

Barrister (FES) 'no m lord but you are considerably better informed'

of course FE Smith went on to become Lord Birkenhead if my diminishing memory is correct

i am with Kalder sort of - i am enjoying all the banter back and forwards so to people like Ian who cant be bothered with it tune out  

I'm in too.

chatman | | Permalink

I'm always happy to hear an exchange of opinions too. Without them how can we learn anything?

b.clarke's picture

@C_D

b.clarke | | Permalink

"a COMPLETE defence to an accusation of libel is that what was said is true, and of course in this case, there is the added justification that it is in the public interest that the facts be made public (which would completely rule out any attempt to stifle publication)."

Oh, if that were only the case. The UK is still a laughing stock in this regard. Have you heard of the antics of Mr Justice Eadie?

 

TrevorJSmith's picture

No way David

TrevorJSmith | | Permalink

David, it would be a EFFING travesty , if you were ticked off. I enjoy reading your posts, and most the other contributors here. Keep up the interesting posts.

carnmores's picture

Eady

carnmores | | Permalink

now libelling a judge thats right up my street! lol

the whole question of privacy law is very vexed but i believe that Eady is  being replaced by Tugenhadt - where parliament dioes not do its job properly ( and given previous commenst on this thread are we surprised) then the judiciary is asked to interpret; some of us dont like the answer we are given but the decisions can be appealed to teh supreme court and if the poliiticians dont like it they can change and clarify the law , some hope i suppose - i may be wrong but you seem to be intimating that the supression of information goes too far - well obviously every case is different and as they say there but for the grace of god go we

glenbogle's picture

Town In Austria

glenbogle | | Permalink

I think if you look hard enough in Googlemaps You will find  that there is indeed a town in  Austria called F**k*ng.

My evil warped mind recalls it featuring in a Graham Norton show involving an American actress. This may be found in Youtube.But is the use of that germanic  epithet  so offensive.

In the context of what may be a very poor or unfair decision it may have been apposite. Honerst even.

I have been involved in court actions that have simply left me looking for adequate descriptions. I would offer my sincere sympathy to Judge Bolton that she is now well aware of how it feels.

But how is the learned judge in such dire financial straits?

Should not her brethren not be offering solicitous assistance?

I'm not suggesting a whip round but  we are all in trouble in this country and this makes me wonder.

Is it not time to change our attitudes , abandon cynicsm and try to help those in the mire.

 

 

cymraeg_draig's picture

self representation

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

"Perhaps an attorney’s greatest asset as a professional is his or her capacity to provide dispassionate, objective advice to clients who are emotionally overwrought".

It comes from an article "When You Have a Fool for a Client" concerning lawyers who act as their own legal advisers.

David

 

Posted by davidwinch on Fri, 17/12/2010 - 10:45

 

 

Not always true. Indeed any counsel who does not consult his client before dismissing a witness to see if he has missed some small but important point, is, in my opinion, not doing his best for his client.

Representing yourself can in fact be the best option, particularly if you have the capacity to remain calm and view a case as a game of verbal chess, which is actually what a trial is. 

We must all get used to the idea of defendants defending themselves, as, with the disgraceful changes to legal aid, no one appearing in magistrates courts will be represented (unless rich). 

Similarly defamation cases no longer qualify for legal aid, so again it will be the preserve of the rich (footballers and the like).  

 

******* judges

JackHarper | | Permalink

I would have been infinitely more worried if the judge's travelling habits had been in issue. The primary qualification for elevation to the Bench is never (knowingly, viz sober) having travelled on a bus or not within the last 30 years. After appointment this record is easier to maintain as one's man collects one and drops one back after one has been "sitting". True, this is only on a relatively small number of non-golfing days. I'm sure judges would not enlist the services of their man on a dies non e.g to decorate a duckhouse.

As to fornication arrangements a judge once wearily remarked in a case of dogging involving a bubble car where the defence was that it was impossible in such a vehicle that in his long experience on the bench sexual intercourse was possible anywhere except possibly on the ceiling. Sed quaere.

There was a young man called Rex

had very small organs of sex

when accused of exposure

he replied with composure

De minimis non curat lex

He had Kinesel's Opinion to that effect.

I do hope this libels Harriet Harman

 

 

carnmores's picture

brilliant

carnmores | | Permalink

i think our judges are maligned - god i must be getting old

very many judgemenst get overturned on appeal most of the ones i have seen in action lately have been better than before

carnmores's picture

just been reading the LAW section of THE TIMES thursday edition

carnmores | | Permalink

David Pannick QC made several awards amongst which

AWARD FOR INJUDICIOUS CONDUCT

went to e weaver censured by her former colleagues on the michigan supreme court for secretly taping and then releasing the judicial deliberations in an attempt to to damage the reelection bid of another justice (presumably chosen before  J Bolton - see below)

 

CREATIVE LAWYER OF THE YEAR

KA Stahibush suspended by Ohio SC for overbilling - charging more than 24 hours in a day.

 

GOING BACK TO ******* JUDGE DREADFUL-  FROM TIMES T2 section

apparently judge Bolton had already been told to remove her chewing gum by the ..clerk - T2 goes on to to say ' JB ..certainly seems to have been method acting every sullen lag who .. appeared before her. the chewing gum was an inspired touch though she missed a trick by not wearing a scrunchie or having an army of supporters blowing kisses from the public galery and shouting ' love you babe'

great stuff

cymraeg_draig's picture

Judges

cymraeg_draig | | Permalink

 I think our judges are maligned - god i must be getting old

 

Posted by carnmores on Sat, 18/12/2010 - 11:44

 

There are some good judges, and there are some eeejits.  I could name one who I love appearing in front of as I simply can't lose, and another who is so bad that I dont bother calling witneses, just use my time filling out the appeal forms.  However, the majority are reasonable.

The people I have a problem with and who, in my opinion, have no place in a "justice" system, are magistrates.  They are part-time, amateur, still mainly drawn from a totally unrepresentative section of society, and labour under the delusion that all police officers are honest.

Quite simply, for the last 10-15 years our legal system has been under attack by governments and I'm very glad that nowdays I can pick and choose what I do, and only get involved in cases that interest me - generally where I believe there has been or may be a miscarriage of justice.

Our judiciary has been hog tied by stupid "sentencing guidelines" which strip courts of the freedom to pass appropraite sentences depending on the facts of the case. One can only hope that this government will carry out its promises, and rip up the bulk of Labours idiotic legislation including all of Harriet Harmans pathetic and prejudicial "equalities" legislation which is actually a vile attack upon freedom of thought and freedom of expression. 

 

 

 

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