Judge sacked for trolling critics online, calling them ‘donkeys’
Jason Dunn-Shaw, who was a Recorder and a barrister in Canterbury, allegedly used the online name ‘Querelle’ to hit back at people who criticized him, trolling them with abusive comments accusing them of not “thinking things through.”
It’s alleged that he commented on a Kent Online article about a case he presided over at Canterbury Crown Court, under which one commenter had written that they thought the defendant’s sentence had been too lenient. Dunn-Shaw is accused of trying to justify his decision, while calling his critic a “donkey,” using his pseudonym to hide his identity.
When the accusations surfaced, Dunn-Shaw appeared to imply that his partner had been responsible, telling the Mail Online that it would be “quite improper” for him to post them himself.
Another story on the same local newspaper’s website reported on a family that had been convicted of scamming an 80-year-old dementia sufferer. Dunn-Shaw, who was the defense counsel in the case, allegedly began posting comments from ‘Querelle’ going into great detail about the circumstances.
The fraud victim’s son later submitted a complaint to the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO).
In a statement released on Tuesday, the JCIO said Dunn-Shaw had been dismissed after his “behavior fell below the standard expected.”
“Recorder Jason Dunn-Shaw was subject to a conduct investigation for using a pseudonym to post comments (some of which were abusive) on a newspaper website about a case in which he had been a judge and another in which he had been a barrister,” a spokesperson said.
“In his own name he also used publically available social media sites to post material or not remove material which was not compatible with the dignity of judicial office or suggested a lack of impartiality on matters of public controversy.
“The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that this behaviour fell below the standard expected of a judicial office holder and have removed Mr Dunn-Shaw from judicial office.”
Dunn-Shaw told the BBC he would appeal to the Ombudsman “to complain about the procedure, which to my mind was flawed and unfair,” the statement says.