You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Judge apologises after dozing off during High Court hearing

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 12/02/2019 Victoria Ward

A High Court judge has “expressed remorse" after falling asleep during a hearing.

a person in a red shirt: Mrs Justice Parker, pictured, 'momentarily' dozed off during a family hearing at the High Court © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Mrs Justice Parker, pictured, 'momentarily' dozed off during a family hearing at the High Court Mrs Justice Parker, 68, who is based in the Family Division, briefly dozed off during a case in London.

An investigation was launched after lawyers involved lodged formal complaints.

Download the Microsoft News app for your Android or iPhone device and stay up-to date on the news you care about most.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) revealed she had been given “formal advice” but avoided further punishment because she nodded off “only momentarily”.

The JCIO said Lord Chancellor David Gauke and Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett had concluded that her conduct had the potential to undermine public confidence in the judiciary.

It did not detail when the incident took place but it is understood to have been some time last year in London.

Mrs Justice Parker is the second longest-serving judge in the Family Division of the High Court, having been appointed in 2008.

A JCIO statement said: “Mrs Justice Parker has been issued with formal advice following a complaint by parties in a case that she had fallen asleep during a hearing.

"While concluding that this amounted to conduct which had the potential to undermine public confidence in the judiciary, the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice took into consideration that the judge fell asleep only momentarily and has expressed remorse for doing so."

The case did not have such severe ramifications as that of Manchester-based Recorder Philip Cattan, then 65, who fell asleep whilst presiding over a rape trial in 2014, causing it to collapse.


More from The Telegraph

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon