Judge Allegedly Falls Asleep During Child Rape Case

The BBC reports that a Manchester Crown Court judge is undergoing investigation after being accused of falling asleep during a child rape trial, forcing the jury to be dismissed.

Barristers raised a "point of law" after spotting Judge Philip Cattan allegedly sleeping during a victim's cross-examination. This forced the trial of 49-year-old John Quigley, accused of sexually assaulting two young girls, to be halted for an investigation.

The Crown Prosecution Service reported they dismissed the jury "following an issue that arose at court during the cross examination of the first complainant in the case." They say a new jury will be enlisted as soon as possible.

Former solicitor general Vera Baird told the BBC she had "real concerns" about the

accusation:

"It's a pretty personally insulting thing for somebody when you're describing probably the most important event in your life. But also what does it say about the state, about judicial governance, about the criminal justice system?"

Kama Melly, a lawyer specializing in child sex crime, spoke to the New York Daily about the accusation:

"If these allegations prove to be correct, they are extremely serious. This is no doubt a traumatic time for the family and will only serve to make matters worse for them."

[image via Shutterstock]