Have we dealt with any unusual cases?

District judges recall unusual situations

Transcript of video interviews with district judges

“A number of extraordinary things have happened to me; I’ve had men put on their blogs that they’re going to hide money. I had one chap who tape-recorded himself telling his friend that he was going to hide money from his wife and make sure the judge didn’t know. I had an interesting chap who came out of hospital in Switzerland to come and see me and he said, ‘I’ve just come out of hospital, I am very ill’, and he started taking his clothes off to show me all the injuries and the medical procedures he had been through, and it was just me and him in my room. So you have contact with the public so interesting things happen all the time.”

“About ten years ago there was a spate of claims by dissatisfied clients of introduction agencies, and one particular claimant had attended her agency’s dinner at which it had been represented she would likely meet the gentleman of her dreams. Well, at the first course she was seated next to a gentleman who it transpired was the father of two children whereas she claimed she had made it clear she didn’t want a man with children. Second course, she had as her co-diner, a gentleman who played the electric organ whereas she claimed it had been represented that he was a composer and a conductor, so she got a bit fed up with this and instead of staying for the pudding, she decamped and sued in my court for the return of the fee she had paid to the agency.”

“My usher told me the other day that a gentleman was coming to see me and he had brought a ‘McKenzie friend’, that’s a friend of his just to support him, and this chap walked in with a four foot stuffed toy rabbit which was then sitting in the chair next to him and of course the usher was just winding me up to see if I could keep a straight face. So that’s perhaps not typical, but it’s the sort of thing that happens.”

“Alas, I had to find against her, the case was dismissed but she was very distressed and she wouldn’t leave the court, the court room, and I withdrew and went to the room of my colleague next door. Eventually she came out, she saw me next door, she came in and attempted to lunge at me with the longest fingernails I had ever seen. My colleague went to my assistance and restrained her. Security were called and she was marched out of the building, but the experience really demonstrated to me, more powerfully than anything else, how close we are to the coal face of life in the county court and how you should expect literally anything to happen in the county court for which no amount of judicial training or legal training can prepare you.”