Monday 14 March 2011

Judge Slaps Magistrate Who Slapped Amina Bokhary For Slapping a Police Officer

How many slaps is that?

Finally, who judges the judges is answered; at least in the case of Amina Bokhary.

Frank Stock, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, is reported as saying it was "unfortunate" that magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming noted Amina Bokhary's "good background, a well-off family, good education and outstanding academic achievement" ... as if this was influential in his judgment (see Judges Behaving Bizarrely As Usual)

Bokhary comment unfortunate, judge says (SCMP; paywall)
Austin Chiu
Mar 12, 2011

A Court of Appeal judge described as unfortunate a comment by the magistrate sentencing top judge's niece Amina Mariam Bokhary that the defendant had a "good background".

Vice-President of the Court of Appeal Frank Stock made the observation in a judgment which explained the court's decision to extend Bokhary's one-year driving ban to three years for failing to provide a breath sample, but not to replace a HK$5,000 fine with a jail term.

Stock was referring to Magistrate Anthony Yuen Wai-ming's remark in August last year that Bokhary had a good background because she came from a well-off and caring family, which sparked public concern over the sentence handed down.

But Stock noted: "It must also be remembered that by reason of the same principles of level-headedness and fairness ... the courts do not visit extra punishment, or brush aside true mitigating factors in respect of a defendant who happens to be from a privileged background."

Despite his criticism of Yuen's remark, Stock said he had no doubt that Yuen had not passed "lenient sentences" in favour of Bokhary because of her background.

He said a fine and a disqualification were suitable for the offence because it was the first time the 35-year-old niece of Mr Justice Kemal Bokhary had committed a traffic offence and she was suffering from a significant mental ailment.

On January 27 last year, Bokhary's car collided with a tour bus in Stubbs Road, Happy Valley, damaging the front of both vehicles. She then slapped a police officer who tried to stop her from leaving - an offence for which she spent six weeks in jail after breaching a probation order.

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