Rive Gauche: Judge uses ‘My wife punched herself in the face” defence… and other nonsense from lawmakers and lawyers

Sophocles had a point… yet this week we have a number of examples of judicial and political misbehaviour.  The Sun reported “A JUDGE’S career was in tatters tonight – after being found guilty of battering his wife because she was late with his tea. Deputy High court judge, James Allen QC AND his wife a deputy county coroner were also shamed after both were accused of LYING under oath in court to try to get him off.”

District Judge Daphne Wickham decided neither had told the truth and she found Allen guilty of assault.  She was, clearly, not convinced about Mr Allen QC’s defence that his wife had punched herself several times in the face.  James Allen QC will be sentenced at a later date.

Chambers described Mr Allen thus:  James Allen QC is ‘a formidable negotiator of huge intellect’.  On the assumption, not unreasonably given my researches on the Bar Council website for James Allen QC, that this refers to the above, it is a pity he didn’t use his considerable powers of negotiation and huge intellect to make his own ‘tea’?

AND then… there is a lawmaker… Lord Hanningfield… a lawmaker who wasn’t really sure about the laws relating to expenses.  The Independent reports: Expenses peer Lord Hanningfield is found guilty – on day disgraced MP is freed early

A former Tory frontbencher faces jail after being found guilty yesterday on six counts of fiddling his parliamentary expenses. Lord Hanningfield, who had been a Conservative transport spokesman as well as leader of Essex County Council, was convicted for false claims for overnight stays, mileage and train fares.

He had denied dishonestly claiming expenses totalling almost £14,000, but was found guilty by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court. The vast bulk of the fraudulent claims – £13,379 – were for £174-a-day overnight allowances for London when he was often returning in a chauffeur-driven car provided by the council to his home in Essex.

On one occasion the peer, who was a pig farmer before he embarked on a political career, was actually on a flight to India. He also wrongfully claimed £382 in train fares, as well as £147 in mileage by doubling the seven-mile distance from his house to the station.

Lord Hanningfield, who will be sentenced in three weeks’ time, said as he left court: “I am devastated, but I have no regrets. I did nothing wrong.”

A quick trip to RollonFriday.com reveals some more unusual ‘goings on’…

Exclusive: Slaughter and May in offensive job ad shocker

There were red faces at recruitment firm First Counsel, chosen by Slaughter and May to advertise its vacancies, after it posted a pompous and apparently xenophobic job advertisement.

The advert was aimed at associates to join Slaughters’ competition team, and claimed that “perhaps counter-intuitively, the firm is not as exacting in terms of its requirements as one might expect and will happily consider lawyers from Australia, New Zealand and Brussels”. The generosity! To consider convicts, sheep stealers and mussel munchers!

Graham White, Slaughters’ Executive Partner, told RollOnFriday that the firm was entirely unaware of the advert, did not approve its wording, considered it to be clearly offensive and had demanded it be taken down.

Here’s the ad in all its glory…

And the legal profession…just keeps giving! : “Exclusive: saucy Senior Partner scandal hits top City firm” – “RollOnFriday can reveal that a Senior Partner of a top City firm has been rumbled by his own staff after engaging in an extra-marital romp with another partner at a firm event. The antics – allegedly spotted by numerous fellow lawyers and even bragged about by the Senior Partner himself – took place at a UK resort. RollOnFriday’s sources at the firm said that, following a dinner, the philandering partner “hook[ed] up with a younger, buxom [partner]” , and “went to her room on the first night” before spending more time together the next day…..


But if you have time and the inclination for something sensible  and for  a spirited discussion on privacy, superinjunctions, the antics of another lawmaker – Mr John Hemming MP – and want to find out what GCs do… then may I recommend the #WithoutPrejudice 6 podcast which I thoroughly enjoyed doing with our guest, Tim Bratton, GC of The Financial Times and regulars David Allen Green  and Carl Gardner.  Hit the link above or scroll down.

I’ll leave it there for the moment…. I may have some more nonsense for you in my ‘Postcard from The Staterooms’ later today… or tomorrow…

5 thoughts on “Rive Gauche: Judge uses ‘My wife punched herself in the face” defence… and other nonsense from lawmakers and lawyers

  1. I do some part time lecturing at a local cash short uni and often don’t claim expenses, my heart sinks when I hear of MPs claims, as for mr Allen’s wife, I would punch my self in the face married to him (several times)

  2. “District Judge Daphne Wickham decided neither had told the truth and she found Allen guilty of assault. She was, clearly, not convinced about Mr Allen QC’s defence….”

    Perhaps he should have run the orange juice and camera defence – it worked for Sgt Smellie.

  3. ‘Perhaps he should have run the orange juice and camera defence – it worked for Sgt Smellie.’

    but only the presence of an orange juice carton in close proximity to a clearly stressed pc when faced with literally one gobby female could have justified giving her a slap.

    and he only had a few minutes to check out the carton.

    and he only gave her a few slaps.

    could have been anything really…

    err give me a break?

    and they did!!!

  4. “… I have no regrets. I have done nothing wrong.” That’s the worrying aspect of Hanningfield’s attitude. Next we will hear counsel telling the judge how remorseful Hanningfield is.

    It is also interesting that the QC was tried just by a District Judge in the Magistrates’ Court. There is at least one previous example of a trial of judge being conducted by a District Judge sitting with two magistrates. Such a trial appears fairer to me and would certainly seem fairer if the defendant was acquitted.

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