WHY DOES THIS CLOWN NOT HAVE TO PAY THE COST AND BE JAILED FOR CONTEMPT
Judge ‘FELL ASLEEP during sex abuse trial’ – now alleged victim must repeat harrowing evidence
Worried Recorder Philip Cattan is accused of nodding off during a crucial point in the case, now taxpayers must pick up a bill for thousands of pounds
And taxpayers must pick up a bill for thousands of pounds – all because a judge is accused of falling asleep.
The jury was sent home as a probe was launched into claims Recorder Philip Cattan snoozed as the girl gave evidence via video link.
Worried he had nodded off during a crucial point in the case, barristers raised a “point of law”.
And while the jury was out of the room, the judge was confronted with the claim he had slept during part of the cross-examination.
Kama Melly, a leading criminal barrister who specialises in child sex crime , said: “If these allegations prove to be correct then they are extremely serious.
“It is devastating for a victim to have a trial delayed so long while an investigation takes place.
“This is no doubt this is a traumatic time for the family and this will only serve to make matters worse for them.”
The jury was sent home and the trial of John Quigley, 49, accused of sexual assaults involving two young girls, was halted while the judge, from Cheshire, is investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.
They will take statements from those present at Manchester crown court .
It is expected the bill, which already comes in at around £10,000, will be picked up by taxpayers.
The trial is expected to restart next month.
A spokesman for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office confirmed: “The matter is being considered in accordance with the Judicial Conduct Rules 2013.”
The spokesman added that Recorder Cattan could not comment.
A CPS spokesperson said yesterday: “The jury has been discharged in the trial of R v John Quigley at Manchester crown court following an issue that arose in court during the cross examination of the first complainant.
“The trial will be relisted as soon as possible.
“The complainants and other witnesses have been kept informed.”
Ms Melly added: “There have been cases where a member of the jury has been caught sleeping.
“In those cases an investigation has to be carried out to find out how much evidence has been missed, and if there needs to be a retrial.
“I have never heard a judge falling asleep. If that has indeed occurred it would be very serious.
“A judge has to be able to hear all evidence to make an accurate summary for the jury.
“This is not possible if he has been asleep for any part of evidence.”
Celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman said if the allegations were true it was “un-befitting conduct” that brought the judicial system into disrepute.
He said: “There clearly needs to be an enquiry to see if there was any good reason for this behaviour.
“But in the absence of good reason, such as serious illness, this conduct could have devastating consequences for his career.”
In 2001 Judge Gabriel Hutton nodded off twice during the trial of a sex attacker who went on to attack two other girls.
He was the judge at the trial of Lee Woodwood, accused of raping a 17-year-old girl on a riverbank in Sharpness, Glos. Judge Gabriel Hutton nodded off twice during a closing speech.
A retrial was demanded – at which Woodward was cleared. In 2003 Woodward was arrested for raping an 18-year-old girl in Stroud, Glos. But his victim could not face giving evidence and Woodward had to be found not guilty.
The rapist struck a third time the same year, attacking an 18-year-old in Westgate, Glos.
Judge Jamie Tabor QC eventually sentenced him to an indefinite prison term.
Judge Hutton, who has now retired, was carpeted at the time by the Lord Chancellor and ordered to apologise for falling asleep.