Judge criticises behaviour that is unacceptable in a court

Judge Colm Roberts had to reprimand a number of people for what he regarded as some basic matters of unacceptable behaviour in court.
Judge criticises behaviour that is unacceptable in a court

A man tried to roll a cigarette in court and a woman applied eye make-up in the same courtroom moments later, as the judge spoke out about basic standards of respect. Picture: iStock

A man tried to roll a cigarette in court and a woman applied eye make-up in the same courtroom moments later, as the judge spoke out about basic standards of respect.

Judge Colm Roberts had to reprimand a number of people for what he regarded as some basic matters of unacceptable behaviour in court.

During the morning:

  • One man stood before the judge with his hands in his pockets, pleading guilty to a public-order offence.
  • Another man tried to roll a cigarette while waiting for his case to be called and was told to leave the courtroom.
  • One woman waiting for her public-order case to be called took out a mirror and applied mascara to her eyelashes. 

When she was later fined in the public-order case and told to leave the court, the woman said her farewells loudly to a man sitting near her. “Mind yourself, go on,” she said as she left. 

The judge had to reprimand this woman twice. Firstly, he said to her, “The court is not a place for doing eye make-up.” As she said her goodbyes when leaving the court, Judge Roberts told the young woman, “This is not a social club.” 

In between the reprimand for putting on the eye make-up and the loud exit, the same woman took out a large hairbrush and began to comb her hair. It was only when her solicitor turned around and noticed this and told her to stop brushing her hair, that she put it away. 

Judge Roberts said, “We need to improve on what people think is appropriate to do in court and what is not.” 

In a case later in the afternoon, the judge said to a man to whom he had granted bail, “I am discouraging people giving a running commentary on what is going on, especially when I am giving them a break.”

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