Retired judge 'sorry' for death threat claim
A retired senior judge has apologised for claiming the campaign group Fathers 4 Justice issued death threats against her.
Baroness Butler-Sloss, who lives near Exeter, had regular run-ins with the fathers' rights group while she was head of the family division of the High Court.
In December last year she said in the House of Lords she had received a number of death threats from people who could recognise her from court and "those such as Fathers 4 Justice, who made death threats not only against me, but also they were going to kidnap my dog".
But she has apologised "unreservedly" for the remarks and said she had not received death threats from the group.
Lilibets offer unique gift ideas for that perfect baby shower or the new arrival/s.
Our clothes range from premature 3-5lbs to 24 mths. Some items are handmade by us.
*This offer excludes: Handmade cards, Natural Nursery Products and Exeter Babies products. (real nappies, slings etc)
Only one voucher per transaction.
Cannot be exchanged for cash.
Contact: 01392 346706
Valid until: Saturday, August 31 2013
She said she had not prepared her comments in December, which came during a report stage debate on the Crime and Courts Bill on the need to protect the safety of judges.
Making a personal statement in the Lords, she said: "I referred to death threats that I had received as a judge from dissatisfied litigants. Most unfortunately, in referring to the people who had made such threats against me, I included the unwarranted suggestion that the organisation Fathers 4 Justice was among those who had made such threats.
"It was not Fathers 4 Justice that had made any threats against me. It was also unfortunate that two Westcountry newspapers reported what I had said in this House. I did not speak to either newspaper.
"Fathers 4 Justice got in touch with me by e-mail and I immediately withdrew the allegations and apologised unreservedly to them.
"I offered to write to the newspapers but they asked for a public apology. The most convenient way to do so seemed to be by a personal statement to this House."
Fathers 4 Justice welcomed the public apology. Nadine O'Connor, the group's campaign director, said: "As a campaign group we have historically staged protests outside judges' houses and in court room occupations, but we have always maintained an element of humour in our high profile protests, our modus operandi is not one of threatening behaviour or intimidation. We are just a group campaigning for equality, we are not terrorists.
"As a former High Court Judge Baroness Butler-Sloss would have been aware that if you are going to make an allegation with such serious criminal implications, then you would need to back it up with evidence.
"Our own investigations with the police revealed that she had not even reported the alleged incident.
"We wrote to Baroness Butler-Sloss and asked for a public apology. We are very grateful that she has apologised in the House of Lords. Many people in her position would not have even bothered to make the apology in private, let alone public, so we thank her for that."