Convicted judge storms out of court
A judge swore and stormed out of court when she was convicted of failing to control her dangerous dog.
Judge Beatrice Bolton, of Rothbury, Northumberland, strode out when the verdict was announced, branding the decision "a f****** travesty".
Bolton, 57, was found guilty by a judge sitting at Carlisle Magistrates' Court of allowing her pet German Shepherd to bite 20-year-old Frederick Becker, her neighbour. She was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £275 compensation to the victim, plus £930 court costs and a £15 surcharge.
District Judge Gerald Chalk said the case had been proved, adding: "We take the view that this is a case which does justify a financial penalty. Mr Becker was not only put in fear but was actually injured by the dog in question."
Bolton, who was asked by the court usher during the two-day-trial to stop chewing gum, had denied a single charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
She was labelled "the neighbour from Hell" by Mr Becker's parents David and Anne Malia.
The Malias and Bolton lived in adjoining properties and had been friends for years, but their relationship soured over the rights to the homes' shared back gardens and the behaviour of Bolton's dog - an animal the family claimed they were living "in terror" of.
A spokesman for the Judicial Office for England and Wales said the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor would be considering Bolton's position as a judge.
Speaking outside the court, Judge Bolton said: "I'm absolutely devastated by this conviction. I have always sought to do what was right in relation to my neighbours and was very conscious of my public position and tried very hard for it not to be said that I was abusing such a position."
Asked whether she regretted her foul-mouthed outburst in court, she said: "This has been a terrible, terrible strain on me which I have tried to bear for the sake of my family, but everyone has their limit at which they cannot control themself. I above all else would never disrespect a court."