It is OK for judges to be temporarily distracted, but sleeping in court is out, the High Court has ruled.
Two men, whose trial was presided by the former District Court judge Ian Dodd, have been granted a retrial on drugs charges after the ruling, published yesterday.
Judge Dodd, who had been referred to as “the sleeping judge” after repeatedly falling asleep in court, retired from the bench in 2005. He was diagnosed with sleep apnoea.
But the High Court found the judge had failed in his duty to supervise and control the trial and participate in it, leading to a miscarriage of justice.
I’m one of those with OSA who is a thorough advocate of CPAP therapy. Sleeping with a mask pressuring air into my lungs from a whispering compressor gives me a complete night’s sleep. Refreshed, normal blood oxygen levels, I’m ready to do metaphorical battle with the ignorant of the world, every morning.
And it doesn’t reduce my crankiness a jot.