A judge in England is facing criticism after he allegedly warned a 14-year-old girl that she could be sent to prison if she cried during her mother’s trial. According to a Daily Mail report, her mother, Natasha Myers, is facing charges for smuggling two mobile phones, a sim card, and cannabis into a prison while she was visiting her boyfriend David Akende. It was during this trial that Judge Stephen John allegedly threatened her daughter.
The judge had previously withdrawn Myers’s bail before she gave her testimony as he was concerned that she would abscond, the Appeal Court heard last month. The judge reportedly ordered her daughter to apologise for ‘being rude to him’, however, the cause for the apology has not been disclosed. He further warned her that if she expressed any emotion during her mother’s evidence, she would be arrested. “I don’t care if you’re 14, you’ll go into a cell the same as anybody else,” he told the girl reported the news website.
Penelope Gibbs, the founder of the Transform Justice charity, tweeted the conversation between the judge and the child:
the exchange between the judge & the 14 girl whose mother was in prison & facing months more of imprisonment has to be read to be believed – see attached. pic.twitter.com/LlB30JmN7I
— Penelope Gibbs (@PenelopeGibbs2) October 12, 2018
Myers, who was jailed for 18-months after she was found guilty in April, will now have her conviction overturned as the Appeal Court found that she did not receive a fair trial. One of the three Appeal Court judges Lord Justice Hamblen stated that Judge John’s action could have ‘handicapped’ Myers in giving evidence.
“It was not appropriate for the judge to threaten to send a 14-year-old girl to the cells at all, let alone for a mere facial reaction,” he told the news website. “This is likely to have caused considerable upset [to her mother] and potentially to have handicapped her in the continued giving of her evidence,” he added.
Many people called out the judge for being indifferent to a child, who had been seperated from her mother for so long.
My god! This is Britain? It sounds like the US…
— Jeremy Trevathan (@JezzaTrev) October 13, 2018
This judge is a bully.
Completely irrelevant if s/he had a bad week; we’re talking about a judge not a taxi driver ferrying a drunk home on a Saturday night.
— Damien (@hiking_4_fun) October 13, 2018
My heart bleeds for this family x
— Keima Payton (@KeimaPayton) October 14, 2018
this nothing more than bullying a minor by someone who should know better , the girl clearly was intimidated and worried about her mother,,disgusting and hard to believe were in the 21st centuary,,,
— jan anderson (@jjkfa) October 13, 2018