It's been a bad week for…

Legal aid funds. A civil action for unlawful arrest against Dorset Police,

which cost the taxpayer a quarter of a million pounds, has created the most

highly valued tea bags ever. Psychologist Dr Ian Anderson launched the

action six and a half years ago after being held by local police for 14

hours following the discovery of a bomb near his house. Anderson alleges

that officers charged into his home, broke a garage window, and stole a

u300 revolver and u180 from his wallet. He claimed u500,000 damages for

loss of income and trauma. However, a jury at Bournemouth County Court

awarded him a mere u100 compensation – for the use of two tea bags and

washing up liquid used by the detectives investigating the incident.

Chief circuit judge for Leicester Judge Victor Hall, who was banned from

driving for a year, fined u1,000 and suspended as a judge by Leicester

magistrates after admitting drinking more than twice the alcohol limit at a

bar function. But what was rough justice for the judge was sweet revenge

for the numerous locals who have appeared before him in the past – a

jeering crowd gathered on the steps of the court to shout abuse at the

judge as he left. His solicitor Gordon Hamilton told the court of Judge

Hall's "great humiliation".

Protest groups. Mr Justice Burton has issued a stern warning to

eco-activists hell-bent on saving the world from genetically modified food.

He found four campaigning members of Genetix Snowball who destroyed a crop

of sugar beet in Hertfordshire in June guilty of contempt of court for

breaking an injunction, despite the fact that the group did not realise the

injunction applied to them.

Divorce lawyers, who are fuming about a new on-line divorce service.

Clients need never again weep on the shoulders of their solicitor as they

reel off a list of emotional wounds, nor actually meet their lawyer at all.

Desktop Lawyer, launched by solicitor Richard Cohen, offers cyber divorce

for a mere u79.99 as well as tenancy, confidentiality and employment

agreements.