Barrister sacked as part-time judge for abusing punters
13 April 2017
A recorder has been sacked for posting abusive comments in response to criticisms about cases in which he was involved.
Barrister and part-time judge Jason Dunn-Shaw was the recorder in a Canterbury Crown Court trial of a woman who avoided jail after causing a car crash which left two people in a burning Mini. When readers accused Dunn-Shaw of being too lenient in comments beneath an article on KentOnline, a user called 'Querelle' joined the discussion, posting defences of the ruling and calling critics "donkeys
Following a case in which Dunn-Shaw acted as a barrister defending fraudsters who conned an 80-year-old suffering from dementia, Querelle popped up again to describe the merits of the defence. He accused naysayers of being "trolls
" and "narrow-minded and bigoted
", and observed that there were "lots of warty fingers at work here
Querelle was unmasked as Dunn-Shaw after suspicions were raised, and the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office has now sacked him from judicial office after "the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that this behaviour fell below the standard expected
". It said his online scraps were "not compatible with the dignity of judicial office or suggested a lack of impartiality on matters of public controversy
Dunn Shaw told KentOnline
, "I am dismayed"
, adding that "the day that I received my sacking was the same day that a judge was exonerated for calling a defendant a "C***" in open court
". He revealed he had a saved text message from 2015 in which a colleague told him, "I met someone this evening who described you as the best, fairest tribunal they'd ever appeared before
". So obviously he should not have been sacked.
Britain's best and fairest recorder said the JCIO had "behaved disgracefully"
and that he would appeal to the Ombudsman, warning, "if it is to be that the judiciary is to be populated by timid and unimaginative 'yes-men' then I am better off out of it - but such degrades our fine heritage of some independently-minded judges who live in the real world