Judge calls prosecutor illiterate idiot.

The BBC, with one of the few reporters not in Beijing, reports that “An angry judge has branded a prosecution worker an “illiterate idiot” after spotting several spelling mistakes in an indictment. Judge David Paget was reading a list of charges drawn up by Crown Prosecution Service staff at Wood Green Crown Court in north London when he spotted errors. The indictment, which accused a man of assault, included attempted “greivous” bodily harm”

The judge was even less impressed when another charge accused the defendant of using an offensive weapon, “namely axe”, instead of “an axe”.

The BBC notes that the judge finally lost it and “Throwing the paper down on his bench, Judge Paget added: “It’s quite disgraceful. This is supposed to be a centre of excellence. To have an indictment drawn up by some illiterate idiot is just not good enough.”

Good stuff… our profession prides itself on spelling and the debate on the correct spelling of judgement / judgment, as in delivering a ‘judgment’, continues.

The judge is right, of course.  Before you know it we’ll all be speaking French again if we allow grammarlouts to ruin our language. Some say… that English is just French spoken and written badly…..

My thanks to Infobunny on Twitter for alerting me to this story.

8 thoughts on “Judge calls prosecutor illiterate idiot.

  1. O Dear – does that mean that we wannabe barristers with good command of the english language have absolutely NO chance of a career at the bar unless we lower our standards of grammar and spelling?!?!?

  2. It’s just French spoken and written badly … and isn’t it so much of an improvement that way? 😉

    I actually love the langue francaise but I prefer English and I confess that it warms the cockles of my heart when I see someone having a rant to defend properly written English for once rather than suggesting we lower our standards.

    I’m sorry … this is my most heavily used soapbox 🙂

  3. Ro… no… be my guest… i’m with you on this one – appalling that CC are doing this to local paralegals… It is not as if they earn that much anyway.. compared to other legal staff.

    We should be funding training, providing work for people in this country…. a windfall tax perhaps on lawyer profits… what an absurd idea.

  4. Pingback: Old and slow « Beside the point

  5. A rather serious point — what about dyslexic students? I have about three or four a year and some have serious problems with spelling and occasionally, worse, with what is, I think called dyspraxia, where word order is also not well handled.

    If I were to suggest that a dyslexic student should think of another career I would be howled down, perhaps rightly, but as law does require a high degree of literacy and orthographical grammatical accuracy, I can see no other way of dealing with this problem. Forseeability, infact, grievious and so on spring to mind. I’m an appalling typist but a spell-check does not correct all the mistakes.

    Best wishes,


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