A “gratuitously rude” judge who told a 13-year-old girl that her case was “codswallop” has received his second official rebuke in a matter of days for breaching legal standards.
Judge Robert Dodds, who sits at the family court in Liverpool, is being investigated by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.
This comes after he was reprimanded twice in two days by Court of Appeal judges and told that he should be “embarrassed” by his conduct and his use of “unrestrained and immoderate language that had to be deplored”.
A panel of senior judges said Judge Dodds’ remarks, made as he handled a child’s application for a DNA test to determine her true paternity, constituted a “serious procedural irregularity”.
The appeal court judgment report revealed that Judge Dodds had asked: “If the child had told her legal representatives that the moon was made of green cheese, whether they would have answered ‘yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full’.”
It was reported: “He went on to state that the lunatics had truly taken over the asylum, and that just because the lunatics had said they wanted something did not mean that they should be spoon fed.”
Judge Dodds told the child that she “might want to put her crash helmet” on for his decision, stating that he was minded to make her pay for the test herself – despite the Legal Aid Agency already agreeing to cover the cost.
The judge also said he was “bitterly resentful” at being asked to spend his weekend reading the material relating to the case, which he described as “codswallop."
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