Judicial Conduct Investigations Office refuses to say which case or which views
Magistrate Paul Goldspring, who presided at the first trial of left MP Claudia Webbe, has been officially rebuked by the Lord Chief Justice for political comments during a case in his court.
The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) has published a statement noting the disciplinary action – but refused to release details of which case was involved or what the views expressed were. A JCIO statement reads:
The Lord Chief Justice, with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Paul Goldspring with formal advice for making remarks during a hearing which gave the impression that he was endorsing a contentious political cause.
In reaching their decision, they took into account that, with hindsight, the judge had accepted his remarks were capable of giving such an impression and had expressed his regret.
Goldspring had already sparked controversy in an earlier case when he released a neo-nazi fan of mass murderer Anders Brevik, who was on trial for downloading terror manuals, because the youth’s teachers said he’d get good A-level grades. Goldspring told the offender:
You clearly work very hard in school and are very, very intelligent.
The judge at Webbe’s appeal concluded that Merritt had repeatedly lied in her testimony and heard evidence that the Metropolitan Police had withheld during the first case – yet bizarrely upheld the conviction while reducing Webbe’s sentence to essentially the equivalent of a parking offence and reduced compensation to the ‘victim’ from £1,000 to £50.
Webbe had suffered extensive domestic abuse from her partner, who was having an ongoing sexual relationship with her accuser. The Met had withheld hundreds of messages between the pair and between Merritt and her friends about the relationship and mocking Claudia Webbe.
The Society of Black Lawyers and a retired black judge condemned the outcome as demonstrating the systemic racism of the justice system.
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