“Nottingham judge Jeremy Lea has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Lord Chief Justice.”
By Judicial Office correspondent Tuesday 19 May 2020
Nottingham judge Jeremy Lea has been found guilty of professional misconduct by the Lord Chief Justice.
Mr Lea, 66, of Mapperley Park, misused the Crown Courts’ computer system (the DCS) to access sensitive files in which he had no legitimate interest, in a 2019 prosecution at Swindon Crown Court.
Lea’s misconduct was contrary to English criminal law (the Computer Misuse Act 1990).
Lea, full name Jeremy Hugh Chaloner Lea, was investigated by Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing in a Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) probe.
Mrs Justice Laing’s findings were then referred to the Lord Chief Justice.
The Lord Chief Justice’s decision to administer formal discipline to Lea was published on the JCIO website today.
A JCIO spokesman said, “His Honour Judge Jeremy Lea was the subject of a disciplinary investigation after he accessed digital records relating to a criminal case without legitimate reason.”
“The case concerned an individual [journalist Richard Carvath] who was subject to separate criminal proceedings in which Judge Lea was the sole prosecution witness.”
“The Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice concluded that Judge Lea’s actions amounted to misconduct . . .”
The case accessed by Lea was a stalking prosecution, instigated by Devon and Cornwall Police, of journalist Richard Carvath at Swindon Crown Court.
Mr Carvath, 43, was accused of stalking David Robert Madge, 46 – despite the fact the two men had never met.
After a six-day trial in December 2019 – in which Mr Carvath was defended by barrister Frances Pencheon – a jury acquitted Richard Carvath of stalking David Madge.
Mr Carvath’s successful defence was that the stalking alleged was actually a lawful private investigation, and that he had acted to prevent and detect the crime of David Madge.
David Madge was the man is whose favour Jeremy Lea found, in a scandalous child custody case at Nottingham Family Court in 2017.
That case, in which Lea sided with Madge, has come to be known by the name of the mother whom Lea found against: Samantha Baldwin.
The case received international media attention when Samantha Baldwin ‘went on the run’ to try to protect her children.
Samantha Baldwin has always maintained that Lea’s findings against her are false.
Journalist Richard Carvath took Samantha Baldwin’s side against Lea and Madge in 2017.