Mackay rebukes drink-drive judge

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The Independent Online
A JUDGE convicted of drink- driving for the second time was reprimanded by the Lord Chancellor yesterday.

District Judge Angus MacArthur was warned that he could be removed from office if he committed a third offence.

Lord Mackay of Clashfern delivered his rebuke after Judge MacArthur, 51, who deals with civil cases at Peterborough County Court, was convicted in April for driving with excess alcohol. He was disqualified from driving for two years and fined pounds 3,000 by local magistrates. The judge was convicted of a similar offence in 1985.

A spokesman for the Lord Chancellor said Lord Mackay 'takes a very serious view of his conduct'.

He added: 'Lord Mackay expects members of the judiciary to observe standards of behaviour in both their private and professional lives which would not undermine public confidence in them.'

A conviction for drink-driving was a cause for the Lord Chancellor to consider exercising his statutory powers to remove a judge from office on grounds of misbehaviour. But, on this occasion, he decided not to exercise those powers.

John Knight, co-founder of the Campaign Against Drink Driving, said Judge MacArthur should have been sacked. 'I think he should have lost his job because a lot of people who are convicted of this are sacked automatically.

'I feel the Lord Chancellor has been very lenient and should have taken the strongest possible action because this man could have been well on his way to killing an innocent person.'

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