Judge sacked for posting online abuse
A crown court judge has been sacked after posting abusive comments online about cases he was involved in.
Former recorder Jason DunnShaw took to KentOnline to dub the critics of his work as “donkeys” and “trolls”.
His comments included references to critics of his handling of a case involving Samantha Sharp, who admitted a dangerous driving charge after a crash in Shadoxhurst that left her victims trapped in a burning mini.
After the crash in June 2014, Mr Dunn-Shaw had told Shaw that if she was not a mother, she would have gone to prison. She was given a two-year suspended sentence, which many believed was too lenient.
But using the online pseudonym Querelle, he went out of his way to explain the decision and branded critics “donkeys” and accused them of occupying “a narrow-minded bigoted sphere”.
He also took to the website to criticise other commenters after he acted as a defence barrister for a Betteshanger family who were convicted of defrauding demen- tia sufferer Barbara Lewis out of £57,000 in November 2015.
Mr Dunn-Shaw revealed details of the case, some of which were not mentioned in court, prompting the late Mrs Lewis’ son to issue a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO).
After a 16-month inquiry, the office announced that Mr DunnShaw will no longer be allowed to sit as a recorder, a part-time judge. The lord chancellor and lord chief justice concluded that his behaviour “fell below the standard expected”.
But this week, instead of apologising, Mr Dunn-Shaw insisted he was regarded as “outstanding”, and accused the inquiry of acting disgracefully.
He told our sister newspaper the Kentish Gazette: “I am dis- mayed. I have served diligently for a number of years throughout the South East. I have been described as ‘outstanding’ by counsel, jurors and witnesses.
“The JCIO accepts that comments were made on KentOnline under a pseudonym. The day that I received my sacking was the same day that a judge was exonerated for calling a defendant a ‘c***’ in open court.
“It seems to me unfair that the tracking of anonymous material places me where I am now.”
Mr Dunn-Shaw said he would appeal against the decision to the ombudsman.
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Canterbury Crown Court