A judge bemoaned the ‘throwing toys out the pram’ - after being told that lawyers had taken out their frustrations about court delays on members of staff.

Judge Michael Gledhill KC apologised to the seven barristers for the wait, explaining that their video-link hearing – called on 90 minutes after its listed time – had been delayed by the sentencing of a 17-year-old who faced 15 separate charges.

But he tore into the assembled counsel, telling them that three members of court staff had been to see him in the 10 minutes before their case was called on saying that three barristers – not named in court – had been ‘abusive’ to staff.

He told the prosecutor he had one senior member of staff speak to him ‘absolutely outraged that members of the bar and or solicitors have descended to the level of abuse that they did’.

Judge Gledhill added to the Crown’s barrister: “I’m not suggesting for a minute you are the person or one of the people who threw this abuse at court staff.

“I’m not prepared to put up with it.”

It was suggested that three barristers had made ‘abusive’ comments. Of seven lawyers, six denied variously making such comments or being in contact with court staff – prompting the judge’s wry intervention that even with his ‘O Level maths’ the numbers did not add up.

“I don’t want any more throwing toys out of prams in this case,” he told the assembled senior counsel.

Judge Gledhill adjourned the case for a week, re-listing it for next Friday and ordering all barristers and their clients attend court in person.

“This case will not be heard by CVP [Cloud Video Platform, the court’s video conferencing software] again,” he said, later adding: “This is a very, very clear example of the disadvantages of CVP.”

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward