The Hall of Fame
Here is a not-so-quick chronology of this good man's Crown Court career:
1999: Following the decision to drop a rape case, Judge Julian Hall has these wise words: "I think they brought the prosecution on themselves. if six men think it a good idea to have sex with one woman, they run the risk of being accused of rape." Compare this to his words in 2008 on sending a false victim to jail.
October 2004: Judge Julian Hall throws out a historical abuse case despite numerous witnesses, describing it as "stale". He also says of the offenders: "I think the best thing that should happen to people who behave in this way, is that they should get a very brisk elbow in the ribs at the time or be rejected." Perhaps Julian could give advisory talks to children in nursery schools on how best to deliver this elbow.
January 2005: A priest convicted of child porn is spared jail and the Judge concludes, "It is difficult to imagine a more admirable and productive life."
August 2005: No prison for a boy who sexually assaulted several elderly and vulnerable women, including an 84yr old. Apparently it wouldn't have been "productive".
February 2006: A community order for a man who had sex with a 13yr old. Apparently he "should have known better".
March 2006: Two years for a man who falsely imprisoned and assaulted a woman, and let's not forget the two charges of rape that were tagged onto this one.
September 2006: Judge Julian Hall breaks down in tears at the plight of Dr Margaret Davison, then sentences the driver who killed her to four years.
December 2006: The Judge jails a sex attacker for just three years for six offences (unspecified), and describes him as, "...a star in your world. It is quite clear that you have made a most positive contribution to the lives of many children..."
February 2007: A paedophile is fined £250 and told to buy his six-year-old victim a "new bicycle" to "cheer her up". To put this one in context, the offender was interrupted before he could do anything worse to his victim, and was previously jailed for sex attacks on children. Despite this, in Julian Hall's eyes the offence was "mild".
August 2007: Life sentence given out to a truly vicious sex attacker, with a nine year minimum. Perhaps the videos produced in this case tugged at Julian's heart-strings, because his reaction is a bit different to that in some of his other paedophile cases, for example...
August 2007: Two years for a child rapist because she "dressed provocatively". How provocative can a 10yr old really be?
November 2007: Jules gives a man in possession of Level 5 child porn (the worst level) a conditional discharge. I have mixed feelings about the fairness of this one - but either way the Judge certainly seems to have accepted the man's claim that it was accidental.
March 2008: He gives a non-custodial sentence to a 17yr old child abuser, stating he is "not dangerous".
March 2008: He jails a woman for a year who lied about a rape allegation. He also denounces her as "evil" and says she has let down "womankind". Slightly different language than that used to describe the child rapists and pornographers he has discharged from his court on previous occasions, no?
In the interests of fairness, I should point out that Judge Julian Hall has also handed out some healthy sentences, but these are all for murder or GBH - apart from the truly horrific case above, I could not find one where he gave any sensible remarks or sentences to sex attackers.
Fortunately, I'm not alone in worrying about this man.
Update: June 2008, Judge Julian Hall refuses to deport a man found guilty of ten sexual assaults on a 12yr old because he did not find him "dangerous".
'Diary of an On-Call Girl' is available in all good bookstores and online.