A disgruntled litigant who carried out a campaign of harassment against a judge has been jailed for 16 months.

The Honourable Mr Justice Nicklin committed Javed Shaikh to prison after finding that the defendant considered he was above the law, did not need to comply with court orders and even seemed to enjoy his defiance.

The court had found Shaikh in contempt in August after ruling that he was the webmaster for a website called ‘Judges Behaving Badly’ which contained a vast amount of abusive and harassing material directed at claimant Simon Morgan, a circuit judge and an additional judge of the administrative appeals chamber of the upper tribunal. Shaikh had been a litigant in proceedings before Morgan in the AAC in 2014 but since 2016 had harassed the judge and his family causing them serious alarm and distress.

In August, the court had adjourned the issue of penalty for contempt to a hearing today, at which Shaikh was not present and not represented. The court heard that six of the offending websites subject to a previous order were still available. The Judges Behaving Badly website was still online, and indeed 26 further entries had been posted since the hearing in August.

Shaikh was found to have ‘simply refused to comply’ with an order to remove websites, and in total there had been 20 breaches of the order. These continued even after warnings from the claimant’s solicitors, after contempt proceedings were issued, and after a contempt finding.

Nicklin concluded: ‘All judges have to expect public scrutiny of their work and potential criticism. But a judge is also a citizen, who is equally entitled to the protection of the law as any other citizen.

‘When the actions of an individual passes from robust criticism to, in this case, menacing threats and abuse that are quite clearly illegal, the citizen is entitled to the protection of the law. The evidence provided to the court by the claimant demonstrates the impact this campaign of harassment has had on him.’

 

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