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Canterbury Crown Court judge Jason Dunn-Shaw is appealing against his 'unfair' sacking over abusive comments


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The judge sacked for abusive online tirades to critics of his work is today complaining that he was treated unfairly.

Jason Dunn-Shaw, who sat as a part-time judge at Canterbury Crown Court, is appealing his sacking on the grounds that it is "disproportionate" and marked by "procedural deficiencies".

On Tuesday KentOnline revealed that Mr Dunn-Shaw had been removed from judicial office after he dubbed critics "donkeys" and "trolls", accused them of being “narrow-minded and bigoted” and complained “lots of warty fingers at work here”.

Barrister Jason Dunn-Shaw can no longer sit as a judge.
Barrister Jason Dunn-Shaw can no longer sit as a judge.

National and international news services picked up the story and this morning Mr Dunn-Shaw spoke to John Humphrys on Radio 4's flagship Today programme.

He said: "I think the sacking is wholly disproportionate and frankly unfair.

"However, I absolutely agree that I was reckless and now I understand the position a reprimand or formal warning would have been appropriate."

The comments at the centre of the furore - made under the pseudonym "Querelle" - had appeared on KentOnline beneath reports of a case in which he had sat as judge and another in which he had represented a family subsequently convicted of fraud.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

He claimed that there were inconsistencies in the oversight of judges' work, citing a case in which a judge had called a defendant a "c***".

"When a judge drops the 'c-bomb' in open court and doesn't even merit a reprimand and then to proceed against me with this extreme investigation is unfair," Mr Dunn-Shaw said.

"But what has not become plain is that the comments that were made not made about the cases, but were in response to posts made by others."

Veteran broadcatser John Humphrys grilled Jason Dunn-Shaw on the Today programme.
Veteran broadcatser John Humphrys grilled Jason Dunn-Shaw on the Today programme.

Mr Humphrys told him this was a "distinction without a difference".

Mr Dunn-Shaw added that he felt his comments were "justified" after visitors to KentOnline had described his client Margaret Rigby as an "evil witch" and a "disgusting old broad".

In 2015 Rigby, her daughter and her son-in-law were convicted by a jury at Canterbury of defrauding elderly dementia sufferer Barbara Lewis out of £57,000.

Margaret Rigby fleeced her friend out of £57,000
Margaret Rigby fleeced her friend out of £57,000

Abusive comments under the username "Querelle" comments appeared beneath a KentOnline report of the trial.

Mrs Lewis's son Nick then complained to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO), believing that only Mr Dunn-Shaw could have written them since they showed such intimate knowledge of the case.

Mr Lewis said: "The JCIO took a long time to investigate, but at least they arrived at the right decision."

Nick Lewis, son of fraud victim Barbara Lewis, complained to Judicial Conduct Investigations Office about Jason Dunn-Shaw.
Nick Lewis, son of fraud victim Barbara Lewis, complained to Judicial Conduct Investigations Office about Jason Dunn-Shaw.

In its disciplinary statement, the JCIO said: "The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that this behaviour fell below the standard expected of a judicial office holder and have removed Mr Dunn-Shaw from judicial office."

Mr Dunn-Shaw continues to maintain he was hard done by.

He told Radio 4: "I am appealing to the Ombudsman because there were procedural deficiencies and various matters which were taken into account that shouldn't have been and matters which they failed to take into account."

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