UK & World News

  • 27 July 2014, 1:49

Child-Rape Trial Halted After Judge 'Fell Asleep'

The trial of a man accused of raping a child was halted because a judge fell asleep, it has been claimed.

An investigation has been launched into the allegations that Recorder Philip Cattan nodded off as a young alleged victim gave evidence via video-link.

The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office confirmed it is looking at what happened at the trial of John Quigley at Manchester Crown Court.

After the allegation was made, the judge stopped the trial and it will now be relisted.

A spokesman for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said: "The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office is aware of the allegation that Recorder Philip Cattan fell asleep during a trial at Manchester Crown Court.

"The matter is being considered in accordance with the Judicial Conduct (Judicial and other office holders) Rules 2013."

In a statement, the Crown Prosecution Service said: "The jury has been discharged in the trial of R v John Quigley at Manchester Crown Court following an issue that arose at court during the cross examination of the first complainant in the case.

"The trial will be relisted as soon as possible. The complainants and other witnesses have been kept informed."

Sky News North of England Correspondent Nick Martin said the incident was pointed out by barristers in court working on the trial, which had cost around 10,000 by the time it was halted.

Quigley, 49, of Avon Road, Burnage, Manchester, denies a number of sex offences including raping a child under 13.

Philip Cattan is a practising barrister in the Manchester area as well as a recorder, which is a part-time judge. He belongs to the St Johns Buildings Chambers in the city.

When Judge Gabriel Hutton was found to have nodded off during a rape trial at Gloucester Crown Court in 2002, causing it to be abandoned, he was disciplined.

Mr Cattan will not be commenting, the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said.

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