Rape trial collapses after senior judge Philip Cattan falls asleep

Rape trial collapses after senior judge falls asleep
Judge Philip Cattan was reprimanded after he fell asleep during a trial

A rape trial collapsed after a senior judge fell asleep.

Recorder Philip Cattan, a respected Manchester barrister who sits as a judge part-time, was seen to ‘nod off’ as an under-aged victim answered questions from the defence.

The £10,000 trial collapsed when barristers confronted Recorder Cattan with their suspicion that he had fallen asleep while the witness was being cross-examined.

Now an investigation has found the judge guilty of ‘serious misconduct’.

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He has been handed a formal reprimand although he has been allowed to remain a judge.

One of the most experienced barristers on the Northern Circuit, from Cheshire, has chambers at St John’s Buildings, St John Street, Manchester.

His role as recorder means he sits for up to 30 days a year as a judge and has previously overseen cases on gangland murders, the Oldham riots and major drugs cases.

Recorder Cattan faced an inquiry after a complaint was made to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office.

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A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: ‘The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice have made a finding of serious misconduct against Recorder Philip Cattan following complaints that he gave the appearance of having fallen asleep during a trial.

‘The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice have issued Recorder Cattan with a reprimand.’

Concerned the 65-year-old judge had fallen asleep at a crucial point in the case, barristers said they wanted to raise a ‘point of law’ during the rape trial in July last year.

While the jury was out of the room, the judge was confronted with the claim that he had slept through part of the cross-examination of the witness, who was giving evidence via videolink because of her age.

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The incident was witnessed by the family of the alleged victim in the trial of John Quigley, which was expected to last five days.

The jury was discharged and the case was re-tried in October, ending in former pub boss John Quigley, 49, being convicted of nine child sex charges including rape against two girls.

Quigley, formerly of Avon Road, Burnage, was jailed for 14 years.

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21 September 2015 | 1:32 pm – Source: metro.co.uk

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