Judge&#39s dread

The Snail likes to think of himself as a pretty forward-thinking individual.

He has no problem with young ladies wearing trousers, or even young men with pierced ears, but there are some things that he simply cannot tolerate. Pregnant women should always have a seat, for example, even if they don&#39t want it, and judges should be treated with the utmost respect, even if they don&#39t deserve it.

So the Snail was simply horrified to read that a dear old judicial darling in Wales had been slapped about the face &#45 by a grandfather of all people. According to reports, the assault took place during a bankruptcy trial at Blackwood County Court, South Wales.

Arthur Jones, 64, a retired miner and grandfather, lost his temper during the hearing and slapped District Judge John Doel around the face with a wad of bank statements and was jailed for 28 days as a result.

Giving evidence in a civil action later brought by the Court Service, the battered judge described Jones&#39s behaviour as &#34extremely wild&#34.

He added mournfully: &#34I didn&#39t see the blow being struck, I just felt the impact. It was forceful and painful.&#34