It was unfortunate this week that a judge responded to a prisoner’s foul-mouthed and abusive language in court with a dose of the same. Elsewhere her response in kind might have shocked the man sufficiently to cause him to reflect on his behaviour, but in court?
Robinson Crusoe, faced with an aggressive goat that he wanted to train as a companion on his island, withheld food and drink from it until its subsequent weakness rendered it incapable of threatening him, whereupon he rewarded it with sustenance and it was tamed.
Why could the judge not have sent the offending prisoner off for a week in solitary confinement on a restricted diet for his contempt of court, and then have him return to court for sentencing for his original offence?
The man clearly does not appreciate the link between the civilised standards he expects for himself and those he ignores in his disregard for the law and for the courts. Shouldn’t this more basic lesson take precedence over sentencing for his previous offence?
Will this event make it more difficult for judges and magistrate to uphold respect for the courts and are there grounds for pursuing the judge for her contempt of court?