A judge overseeing a child rape case in a Manchester Crown Court was seen sleeping during the trial, forcing the case to be abandoned.
According to the BBC, Judge Philip Cattan was spotted by barristers sleeping during the cross-examination of a victim, forcing them to raise ‘a point of law’ that ultimately dismissed the jury and halted the trial of 49-year old John Quigley, who stands accused of raping two young girls.
According to the Crown Prosecution Service, the jury was disbanded ‘following an issue that arose at court during the cross-examination of the first complainant in the case,’ adding that a new jury will be formed and the trial relisted ‘as soon as possible.’
An investigation into the sleeping allegation has been launched, and so Cattan – a lawyer who spends 15 to 30 days a year sitting as judge – cannot comment on the incident.
If found guilty of misconduct, BBC reports ‘any disciplinary action will be decided by the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice.’