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Dog attack judge retires

4 January 2012

A circuit judge who was convicted for owning a dangerous dog and fined £2,500 has retired.

Beatrice Bolton hit the headlines when she stormed out of Carlisle Magistrates’ Court (pictured) after her conviction in December 2010.

The circuit judge was reported as screaming and swearing at the magistrate and describing the verdict as a “f****** travesty”. She later returned to court and apologised.

Bolton, who sat at Newcastle Crown Court, owned a German shepherd dog which was accused of attacking a neighbour’s son and bitten his leg. The court heard that this followed a dispute between neighbours, who shared a garden in Rothbury, Northumberland.

Bolton was convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £275 to the victim, a 20 year-old student. No order was made in relation to the dog.

After the hearing, Judge Bolton was reported to have issued a statement saying that she was considering her future, professionally and personally. It is understood that complaints were made to the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) about her behaviour inside and outside the court.

A spokesperson for the OJC said this week that, after receiving “a number of complaints about comments reportedly made by Ms Beatrice Bolton, a circuit judge, following her conviction under the Dangerous Dogs Act”, the OJC had investigated the matter.

“The judge has, however, retired on medical grounds before the disciplinary process was formally concluded. As a result the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice have decided no further disciplinary action is required.

“Ms Bolton’s retirement took effect from 1st January 2012.”

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