RETIRED judge Beatrice Bolton who was convicted for failing to control her dangerous dog has been ordered to keep the pet on a lead for the next five years.
The former Crown Court judge, of Rothbury, Northumberland, stormed out of a court more than a year ago after she was found guilty of allowing her German shepherd, Georgina, to bite her 20-year-old neighbour, Frederick Becker, who was sunbathing in his garden next door.
The 58-year-old’s 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.
Ms Bolton, who was not present for the hearing, was charged with owning a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place but criminal proceedings were dropped against her yesterday as a civil order was passed in both her and the public’s interest, a district judge ruled.
The court heard she 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 Ms Bolton retired on medical grounds before a disciplinary inquiry into reported comments she made 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. During the 2010 hearing, she swore and stormed out of the court and was heard yelling: “I’ll never set foot in this court again.”
She 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, Mr Becker, plus court costs.
Ms 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.
The former judge, who sat at Newcastle Crown Court, was called to the bar in 1975, before becoming Assistant Recorder in 1994 and Recorder between 1994 and 2001.