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Last Updated: Monday, 29 September, 2003, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Drunk judge fined 800
Judge David Messenger
Judge David Messenger denied all the charges
A district judge has been fined a total of 800 following a drunken argument in a kebab shop.

Solicitor David Messenger, 49, was convicted of being drunk and disorderly, causing wilful damage and two charges of unlawfully obstructing the police.

Magistrates in Selby fined Messenger 200 for being drunk and disorderly and 400 for obstructing police after deciding he "squared up" to officers.

He was fined a further 200 for damaging an alarm button in a police cell and ordered to pay 188 in compensation.

Messenger was also ordered to pay more than 6,000 in court costs.

The way in which Mr Messenger responded was to behave in a totally inappropriate way
Dr Marilyn Jones, magistrate
The deputy district judge was on trial after trying to help a client who was involved in a dispute at Best Kebab, St Thomas's Street, Scarborough.

The court heard how two police officers arrested him on 2 May after he refused to leave the kitchen of the takeaway where they were attending an incident.

Messenger, of Valley Bridge Parade, Scarborough, denied all the charges.

Magistrate Dr Marilyn Jones said that the evidence of the officers in the case had been "compelling".

She said: "We believe the evidence of the police officers and Mr Messenger was drunk."

"Their [the police officers'] actions were entirely justified and perfectly reasonable.

"The way in which Mr Messenger responded was to behave in a totally inappropriate way. These actions were clearly disorderly."

I maintained my innocence throughout and I still do
David Messenger
The court was told the convictions would mean the end of Messenger's "judicial aspirations".

Dr Jones added: "You don't need me to tell you you have not only let yourself down but your profession.

"Any punishment we give you will be minor compared to the loss of your standing in the community."

Speaking outside the court, Messenger said he intended to appeal againt his conviction while continuing to work as a solicitor.

He added: "I maintained my innocence throughout and I still do."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Janet Barrie
"He says he was wrongfully arrested and plans to appeal"



SEE ALSO:
'Shocked' judge swore at police
24 Sep 03  |  North Yorkshire
Judge denies drunken row
23 Sep 03  |  North Yorkshire



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