Macclesfield case reheard after judge fell asleep at bench

A North West lawyer has made an official complaint after a judge fell asleep during her mitigation at Macclesfield Magistrates Court.

Criminal solicitor Caroline King, of Macclesfield-based firm Hermans, was addressing the bench at the town’s magistrates court on the case of a drunk-driver.

But chairman of the bench Paul Flynn appeared to close his eyes and was allegedly nudged awake by one of his female colleagues.

King’s mitigation for her client Dale Bertenshaw continued, but when the bench retired to consider the sentence, she complained to the court clerk.

The case was adjourned ‘in the interests of justice’ and reheard with three new magistrates two days later.

At the new hearing, the prosecution file cover was labelled ‘adjourned because the magistrate was asleep’.

King told the next hearing that the “unusual set of circumstances” had put additional pressure on her and her client.

A spokesman for the Judicial Office said: “The Magistrates Advisory Committee for Cheshire is aware of an incident involving a magistrate at Macclesfield Magistrates Court and will make a decision on how to proceed in due course.”