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She seems nice. He seems like an oik.


The English, they are different from you and me, unless of course you're one of our readers "across the pond," in which case they are exactly like you and different from me. Unless you're Welsh or Scottish. Our point here is that jurisprudence and Free Speech works a bit differently in lands with no First Amendment, and also we are kind of in love with Judge Patricia Lynch QC, of the Old Bailey correction: Chelmsford Crown Court no less. What happened was that Mr. John Hennigan, whilst being sentenced by Judge Lynch for an "asbo" violation (antisocial behaviour order) in which he'd yelled racial slurs at a Caribbean woman and her two children -- that's illegal in the UK, because they're civilised and hate freedom -- got a bit salty toward the jurist. Who got salty at him right back.

Tell us all about it, BoingBoing!

When racist thug John Hennigan called Judge Patricia Lynch QC a "bit of a cunt" during his sentencing for the latest in a long string of convictions, she had the perfect response: "You are a bit of a cunt yourself."

Added the judge: "Being offensive to me doesn't help."

And it didn't help, with Hennigan going down for 18 months for the ninth breach of his antisocial behavior order in eleven years.

"Go fuck yourself," he reportedly responded.

Justice Lynch: "You too."

We are looking forward to the inevitable BBC/Masterpiece Theatre miniseries. The Telegraph notes Mr. Hennigan didn't take kindly to his sentencing:

He reportedly shouted "Sieg Heil" and banged the glass panel of the dock as he was jailed for 18 months.

Hennigan was in breach of an Asbo imposed in 2005 when a swastika was discovered daubed on the front door of his council house.

Hennigan has a long history of misbehaving, and like his Florida Man spiritual cousin "Pork Chop," sounds like an excellent candidate for an idea from Neal Stephenson's cyberpunk novel Snow Crash, in which an antisocial bad guy is ordered by the court to have POOR IMPULSE CONTROL tattooed on his forehead. Where Mr. Chop was merely a violent asshole, Mr. Hennigan adds in a soupçon of Fucking Racist Gobshite as well:

He had been hauled before an Old Bailey judge in October 2012 for making Nazi salutes at a pub in Bishopsgate in the City of London.

Hennigan claimed he had only been raising his arm to collect his change after paying for a drink, but was convicted of breaching an Asbo after a trial.

Hennigan, from Harlow, Essex, has dozens of previous convictions for offences including drug and firearm possession and common assault.

He faced a court for breaching his Asbo in 2010, when he launched racist abuse at a newsagent before attacking him with a display of sweets.

Sadly, because we live in a fallen world where Justice is expected to be not only blind but also decorous, even in the red, lager-fueled face of provocation by a gormless wazzock, we learn that Judge Lynch is now under investigation for her own incivility in the courtroom:

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) handles complaints made about judges both inside and outside court.

A spokesman said: "The JCIO has received complaints regarding HHJ (Her Honour Judge) Patricia Lynch's comment in court which will be considered in accordance with the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2014."

The spokesman added that they "never comment on how many complaints have been received".

Well! We never! In the meantime, Judge Lynch has become something of an online folk hero, as you can imagine, with no end of people applauding her for handing Mr. Hennigan's nastiness right back to him. Punish her? Nay, she should be Knighted, Damed or whatever it is they do over there! Judge Lynch also has fans in the British legal community:

John Cooper, QC, said her response had been refreshing. “This is a judge in the real world. What we want from judges, in my view, is normality. It’s refreshing to have a judge who isn’t stuffy. The individual was acting in a quite appalling way and was lucky not to be on a contempt of court charge.”

On Twitter, she was hailed as a hero. Greg Stone tweeted: “Judge Patricia Lynch, a nation salutes you.”

Matthew Scott, of the Barrister Blogger, said: “As a general rule, it’s probably not a good idea for judges to call defendants c***s in the courtroom, but for every rule there’s an exception. Sometimes, speaking to a defendant in a language they understand is justified.”

Yr Wonkette is seriously hoping that Judge Lynch will consider, in her spare time, teaming up with Ruth Bader Ginsberg to travel the world in a van, fighting crime and dishing out caustic verbal justice.

[Telegraph via BoingBoing / Telegraph again / The Australian]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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