Guilty judges: 3 sacked, 4th quits for viewing porn at work

Reuters / Stefan Wermuth
Three British judges have been sacked and a fourth has resigned for accessing pornographic material on court computers, it has emerged.

An inquiry by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) found they had exhibited “wholly unacceptable conduct.”

According to the JCIO, the judges served in London, North Shields, and Lincoln.

The pornography wasn’t illegal and the judges weren’t exchanging images or connected in any way, a spokesman added.

District Judge Timothy Bowles sat at Romford County Court in East London, while Immigration Judge Warren Grant served in the lower immigration tribunals in central London.

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Judge Peter Bullock served on the court circuit in North Shields, near Newcastle, and Recorder Andrew Maw sat at Lincoln County Court.

In a statement, the JCIO said: “District Judge Timothy Bowles, Immigration Judge Warren Grant and Deputy District Judge and Recorder Peter Bullock have been removed from judicial office following an investigation into an allegation that they viewed pornographic material on judicial IT equipment in their offices.”

The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice were satisfied that the material did not include images of children or any other illegal content, but concluded that this was an inexcusable misuse of their judicial IT accounts and wholly unacceptable conduct for a judicial office holder.

Recorder Maw resigned before the official inquiry was concluded.

Concerning his case, a spokesman said: “The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice would likewise have removed Recorder Maw had he not resigned before the conclusion of the disciplinary process.”

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesman for the JCIO said the judges would no longer be able to work in a judicial role.

READ MORE: Pentagon employee tried to access porn sites at work more than 12k times last year

He said: “As far as I'm aware the judges are not appealing the decision.

British judges are not the only ones to be caught watching adult content when they shouldn’t be.

A Pentagon employee in the United States was discovered trying to access porn sites at work more than 12,000 times last year, according to an internal memo published by the Washington Times.

The man, whose name was withheld, told investigators he had tried to view porn at work because he did not have a personal computer.

A year earlier, two Indian MPs were caught viewing pornography while sitting in parliament.

Jetha Bharwad and Shankar Choudhary, both members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, were allegedly watching adult content on their tablets.

Choudhary denied the accusations at the time, suggesting it might be a “conspiracy.”