Rothbury judge ordered to keep dog on lead

A RETIRED Crown Court judge who branded her conviction for failing to control her dangerous dog as a travesty has been ordered to keep the pet on a lead for the next five years.

Beatrice Bolton, 58, of Rothbury, stormed out of Carlisle Magistrates’ Court more than a year ago after she was found guilty of allowing her German Shepherd, Georgina, to bite her then 20-year-old neighbour who was sunbathing in his garden next door.

The same dog was involved in a similar incident a year later when it sank its teeth into another man as he walked near the home of the former circuit judge, Preston Magistrates’ Court heard.

Mrs Bolton was charged with owning a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place.

But criminal proceedings were dropped against her as a civil order was passed in both her and the public’s interest, a district judge ruled.

The court heard Mrs Bolton was suffering from a mental health condition and was not fit to enter a plea.

A psychiatric examination ordered by her defence team had showed that attending the hearing would have ‘a catastrophic affect on her mental health having to enter a building like this’.

District Judge Peter Ward ordered that she should have no control of any other dog in a public place when with Georgina and that she keep the same pet on a lead in public. Both restrictions will last until January 19, 2017.

Earlier this month Mrs Bolton retired on medical grounds before a disciplinary inquiry into her reported comments at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court in December 2010 had concluded.

The Office for Judicial Complaints announced that the Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice had decided no further action was required in light of her stepping down.

After she swore and stormed out of the court in Carlisle she was then heard to yell: “I’ll never set foot in this court again.”

Mrs Bolton, who sat at Newcastle Crown Court, was later taken back into court and asked to apologise for her outburst. She was then fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £275 compensation to the victim, Frederick Becker, plus court costs.