Man jailed for ‘foul-mouthed abuse’ against judge
A MAN who launched a "tirade of foul-mouthed abuse" at a judge because he was not happy with his brother's sentence was jailed for contempt of court.
Joshua Jeffreries, 22, shouted obscenities at Judge Stephen Hopkins QC as his brother Ottis Jefferies, and four others, who were led to the cells after being convicted of a knifepoint gang robbery on Friday.
Judge Hopkins QC asked for him to be brought back to Cardiff Crown Court but he refused, telling security staff who stopped him at the door he had somewhere to be.
Police were instructed to check CCTV footage and Jefferies, of no fixed abode, was identified.
Officers visited his mother and grandmother's homes and he later handed himself in at a police station.
He was charged with contempt of court and brought to Cardiff Crown Court where he pleaded guilty.
Claire Pickthall, defending, said Jefferies was overcome by emotion and temper on the day in question but now they were under control he showed genuine regret for his actions.
She said he recognised his behaviour was "utterly inappropriate" and accepted he must be punished.
Judge Hopkins branded the "tirade of foul-mouthed abuse" about the criminal justice system and his sentence as an "affront to the dignity of the court."
He said court staff were frequently subjected to abuse, which would not have happened in years gone by.
He put this down to the absence of uniformed police officers who once attended every court hearing along with a liaison officer to keep attendees in check.
This leaves staff having to "fend for themselves", although they are fortunate to have on-site security, he said.
Sentencing Jefferies to seven days in prison, he said he wished to send the public a message: "The courts will not tolerate offensive, abusive or foul-mouthed behaviour directed towards any court user, member of court staff or on one of Her Majesty’s judges. Those who do so or are minded to do so must understand that they will be apprehended and will be punished."
* Ottis Jerfferies, 18, of Coulson Close, Newport, Rhys Williams, 22, of Alexandra Road, Newport, Morgan Hanford, 20, of Clytha Crescent, and Dwade Stock, 18, of Kirby Lane and Gary Radford, 21, of Commercial Road, received sentences of between three and three and a half years, for the robbery of student James Gould on January 26.
Comments are closed on this article.