A former Newcastle Crown Court judge says she was convicted of a criminal offence to be “made an example of”.
Beatrice Bolton, 59, was found guilty of failing to control her dog, Georgina, who attacked her next-door neighbour.
But the former judge believes her high-profile job made her a target, and said that anyone else would have received a caution for the same offence.
She told Sky Tyne and Wear: “The charge was very serious for what was a scratch. Normally it would have been dealt with by way of a caution, but I was charged initially for an offence carrying five years.
“Nobody would have understood that nobody else would have been prosecuted for this offence. Far more serious offences are committed by dogs every day that go unreported to the police.”
Ms Bolton, who used to sit at Newcastle Crown Court, was the only woman judge on the criminal circuit in the North East, before retiring on medical grounds in January 2012.
She told Sky Tyne and Wear how she spiralled into depression and tried to take her own life following the conviction at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court in December 2010.
After she was found guilty, Ms Bolton notoriously walked out of court saying: “This is a f***ing travesty.”
She was fined £2,500 for the offence and was also ordered to pay compensation to the victim.
The court heard that Ms Bolton was involved in an on-going feud with her neighbours at the time, David and Anne Malia, which continued after the case.
Ms Bolton claims the Malias installed CCTV cameras to keep an eye on her family and her two German Shepherds, Georgina and Winston.
When approached by Sky Tyne and Wear, the Malias claimed Judge Bolton’s account was “inaccurate” and said refused to comment further as they “would like to move on”.
Further charges against Ms Bolton were dropped in January 2012. Those related to separate incidents at her home in Whitton, Rothbury, Northumberland.
Ms Bolton has now moved out of the area. She added: “I just want to get on with my life now.”
After the charges were dropped, a civil ruling was made which means that Ms Bolton must keep her dog on a lead in public.
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