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Judge went to Maidstone Crown Court with Covid-19


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A part-time judge and senior barrister caused alarm this morning when she turned up at a court and announced she had Covid.

Patricia Hitchcock QC has been sitting as a recorder at Maidstone Crown Court to hear important cases.

Patricia Hitchcock QC arrived at Maidstone Crown Court and announced she had Covid-19 Stock picture
Patricia Hitchcock QC arrived at Maidstone Crown Court and announced she had Covid-19 Stock picture

But she stunned security staff after announcing she had the virus before going to her chambers.

Maidstone's senior judges were informed and she left shortly after.

The judge, who has been sitting at court all week, was due to listen to three sentences in Court 1.

The barrister became a "silk" in 2011, specialising in arbitration & mediation, clinical negligence, personal injury and professional discipline. She was appointed a crown court recorder in 2017.

She retired from her law practice last year and Chambers - known as the lawyers Bible - described her as having a sharp mind and taking a very caring approach towards her clients.

Her website adds:"Patricia developed a particular interest in mental health and medical issues and later left the criminal courts to focus on medical law."

Public announcements are made at the court throughout the day telling court-users to wear masks and other precautions and jurors are often asked before sitting that if they have any symptoms they should stay away.

The Ministry of Justice said it wouldn't be commenting.

A spokesperson for the Judiciary said: “We don’t comment on medical conditions which must be private, but we understand there is no suggestion from Maidstone of a judge sitting on cases while ill.”

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