Rothbury dog bite judge ‘retires’ before disciplinary hearing

A CROWN Court judge who swore and stormed out of court when she was convicted of failing to control her dangerous dog will not face disciplinary action after retiring ‘on medical grounds’, the Office for Judicial Complaints (OJC) has said.

Beatrice Bolton, of Rothbury, was convicted at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court of allowing her pet German Shepherd to bite her 20-year-old neighbour, Frederick Becker.

Bolton was heard yelling: “I’ll never set foot in this court again,” from outside the courtroom following the hearing in December 2010.

An OJC spokeswoman said: “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 Office for Judicial Complaints investigated the matter in accordance with the Judicial Discipline Regulations 2006.

“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.”

Bolton, who sat at Newcastle Crown Court, was later taken back into court and asked to apologise for her outburst.

After telling District Judge Gerald Chalk ‘I’m sorry’, she was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £275 compensation to the victim, plus £930 court costs and a £15 surcharge.

Bolton, who was asked by the court usher during the two-day trial to stop chewing gum, had denied a single charge under the Dangerous Dogs Act. During the trial, the former judge was labelled ‘the neighbour from hell’ by Mr Becker’s parents, David and Anne Malia.

The Malias clashed repeatedly with the judge, demanding she keep the German Shepherd, named Georgina, tethered up, the court was told. Their son, Frederick ‘Fritz’ Becker, was lying on the lawn at his parents’ home when the then seven-month-old bitch went for him on May 31, 2010.

He was left bleeding and bruised after the dog charged towards him, barking, and then bit his leg.