London, Sep 15 (IANS) A British judge who allegedly made racist comments in a court about an Indian-origin crime victim has been forced to resign, a media report said.
An official inquiry was initiated last year against District Judge Terence Hollingworth after he told lawyers that it won’t be a problem for them to fetch Deepa Patel — the victim in a harassment case — to attend the court hearing as “she won’t be working anywhere important where she can’t get the time off. She’ll only be working in a shop or an off-licence”, the Daily Mail reported on Monday.
The judge’s comments led prosecutor Rachel Parker to withdraw the case, saying: “I am professionally embarrassed. I cannot prosecute this case.”
“I was born and bred in this country. I went through school, college and then on to university to study law. It’s shocking and disgusting for anyone to say that, especially a judge,” Patel, a law graduate, told The Sun after the incident on October 30 last year.
The Crown Prosecution Service later filed an official complaint and four weeks later, Hollingworth resigned as a district judge.
However, he continued to work as an immigration judge for the Asylum and Immigration Chamber despite the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office starting an official inquiry into his behaviour.
“Judge Hollingworth resigned as a tribunal judge during the course of the conduct investigation. He is no longer a judicial office holder in any capacity,” a spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.