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R v Jason Martin Murray

A judge had been wrong to deal with contempt of court proceedings, where she was the object of threats made by the defendant on the same day at the sentencing hearing for the substantive offences, as this led to a perception of bias.

15 September 2006

The appellant (M) appealed against a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment for contempt of court. M had been sentenced to a total of seven years’ imprisonment for substantive offences of robbery, attempted robbery and having an imitation firearm with intent to commit an indictable offence. Immediately following sentencing, M’s family passed him a bag via the custody officers. The judge, fearful of what the bag might contain, instructed the custody officers to return the bag to M’s family. M became aggressive and abusive towards the judge and jumped over the dock on the side that led directly towards the judge’s bench. He was prevented from approaching the judge by his own counsel and the police officer in the case. The judge then dealt with this behaviour on the same day and imposed a term of imprisonment consecutive to those imposed for the substantive offences. M submitted that his actions had been in the heat of the moment following his imprisonment for a lengthy term, ha...

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