Date: 24 January 2024
A spokesperson for the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office said:
Mr Justice Keehan, on behalf of the Lady Chief Justice and with the Lord Chancellor’s agreement, has issued Patrick Weekes JP of the London Bench with a reprimand for misconduct.
Judicial office-holders are required to display respect for, and observance of, the law. Upon appointment, magistrates also sign a Declaration and Undertaking, which includes a commitment to be circumspect in their conduct and maintain the dignity, standing and good reputation of the magistracy at all times in their private, working and public life.
On 28 February 2022, Mr Weekes was charged with two counts of being the person in charge of a dog which caused injury while dangerously out of control in a public place, contrary to section 3(1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.This followed an incident whereby two dogs he was in charge of caused injury to another dog and its owner, which ultimately resulted in the death of the other dog.
On 27 March 2023, Mr Weekes was found guilty on one count and received a four-month conditional discharge. He was acquitted on the other count.
Following an investigation carried out under the Judicial Conduct Rules (Magistrates) 2014, a conduct panel found that Mr Weekes’ conviction amounted to misconduct.
In reaching their decision, the panel took into account that Mr Weekes did not fully appreciate the implications of his conviction on his role as a magistrate. In mitigation the panel took into account the offence did not involve any dishonesty or intent, that Mr Weekes had reported the matter promptly to his bench chair and had voluntarily refrained from sitting pending the outcome of the case.
Having considered the mitigation offered, Mr Justice Keehan and Lord Chancellor agreed with the panel’s recommendation.
Media queries in relation to the JCIO should be made in the first instance to the Judicial Press Office - telephone 020 7073 4852 or via email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctions for misconduct by judicial office-holders are set out in the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. They are, in order of severity: formal advice, formal warning, reprimand and removal from office.
For more information about the Office, including details on how to make a complaint against a judicial office holder, you can visit the JCIO website at: Judicial Conduct Investigations website