A magistrate whose dog killed another has been issued a reprimand for misconduct after he was convicted under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

Peter Weekes, of the London Bench, was in charge of two dogs which caused injury to another dog and its owner. The Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said the incident ‘ultimately resulted in the death of the other dog’.

Weekes was charged with two counts of being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place. He was convicted on one count and acquitted of the second. He was given a four-month conditional discharge.

No other details of the court case or the incident have been released by the JCIO.

Following an investigation, a conduct panel found Weeke’s conviction amounted to misconduct.

The body said: ‘Judicial office-holders are required to display respect for, and observance of, the law. Upon appointment, magistrates also sign a declaration and undertaking, which includes a commitment to be circumspect in their conduct and maintain the dignity, standing and good reputation of the magistracy at all times in their private, working and public life.’

The JCIO said that in reaching its decision of Weekes’ misconduct the panel ‘took into account that [he] did not fully appreciate the implications of his conviction on his role as a magistrate’.

Deciding on the sanction of a reprimand, the panel considered the mitigation including that the offence did not involve any dishonesty or intent; that Weekes’ had reported the matter promptly to his bench chair and had voluntarily refrained from sitting pending the outcome of the case.

A reprimand is the second-most severe form of sanction issued by the JCIO.

Source: The Law Society Gazette

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