Convicted judge swears and walks out of court

Hugh Macknight,Pa
Tuesday 14 December 2010 15:20 GMT

A judge swore and stormed out of court today when she was convicted of failing to control her dangerous dog.

Judge Beatrice Bolton, of Rothbury, Northumberland, strode out when the verdict was announced, branding the decision "a f****** travesty".

The 57-year-old was found guilty by a judge sitting at Carlisle Magistrates' Court of allowing her pet German Shepherd to bite 20-year-old Frederick Becker, her neighbour.

Judge Bolton was heard yelling "I'll never set foot in a court again" from outside the courtroom.

Judge 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.

She and her partner were labelled "the neighbours from hell" by Mr Becker's parents David and Anne Malia.

The Malias and Bolton lived in adjoining properties and had been friends for years.

But their relationship soured over the rights to the homes' shared back gardens and the behaviour of Bolton's pet.

The Malias clashed repeatedly with Bolton, demanding she keep the German Shepherd, named Georgina, tethered up.

They described living "in terror" of the dog and kept a "dog log" of incidents when the pedigree animal strayed on to their land.

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.

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

CCTV cameras trained on the Malias' property showed the dog dash towards Mr Becker, of Fawdon, Newcastle, then bite or claw his leg.

Mr Becker, a student, who is studying politics at Sunderland University, said he was talking on his mobile to his girlfriend when he heard barking.

He said: "I saw movement out of the corner of my eye and then came the noise; the cacophony which followed.

"I was lying on the ground and I had seen the dog was running towards me and it was not going to stop so I was preparing to get up and remove myself from the dog.

"Because of altercations my family had in the past I knew it was not coming up with the best of intentions.

"I was worried it was going to bite me.

"When it did bite me I had gotten up because I was lying on the ground and it could have gone for my face if it had wanted to.

"It had bitten me and I had given it a kick because I didn't want it to come at me again and wanted it off me."

The bite tore through his black tracksuit trousers and caused a bruise and a cut to his left leg.

Bolton apologised to him immediately after.

Mr Becker's wound was checked at Rothbury Community Hospital but did not require treatment.

Bolton's counsel, Ben Nolan QC said a feud had simmered between the two families both before and since the dog attack.

Bolton had attempted "a rapprochement" by offering to introduce the dog to the Malias, or to build a boundary fence between the two properties, but the Malias had refused.

The case is being heard at Carlisle Magistrates' Court after it was transferred to Cumbria due to Bolton's high profile in the North East's legal circles.

The judge, who sits at Newcastle Crown Court, went to Newcastle's Church High school, and then studied at Sheffield University.

She was called to the bar in 1975, before becoming assistant recorder in 1994 and recorder between 1994 and 2001.

Bolton will be sentenced later today.

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