A judge has criticised prosecutors after a woman was taken to crown court for calling somebody a pussy.
Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins even asked prosecutors at Worcester Crown Court if making the remark was an offence after Aga Czachowska, 31, appeared before him.
He said he was astonished the law was being used to ‘stop people swearing at each other’ and described the offence as ‘fairly standard behaviour in life.’
The court heard Czachowska called up Karl Smalley and left a message using the slur because he had not paid Czachowska’s boss an outstanding debt.
Mr Smalley and wife Cheryl complained to the police and the matter was taken to Worcester Crown Court – where a full day’s trial costs taxpayers £3,000.
Czachowska, from Whipton in Exeter, admitted sending a malicious communication which was ‘grossly offensive’ between December 1 and December 7, 2015.
But after Judge Pearce-Higgins blasted the decision to prosecute he handed out a two-year conditional discharge on Monday.
He told the court: ‘That’s an offence is it? Good heavens.
‘It’s fairly standard behaviour in life. I’m concerned criminal law is properly used, not to stop people swearing at each other.
‘To call someone a pussy is impolite. It’s not an offence. It’s unpleasant but not a criminal act.
‘If that’s the case there’s an awful lot of criminals about.’
Prosecutor Christopher Lester said Mr Smalley, from Hereford, had previously been declared bankrupt when he owed Nigel Jones £10,000.
He was only able to pay back £2,000 and Mr Jones mentioned the matter to Czachowska, who worked for him assembling kitchen units.
She was shown a picture of Mr Smalley on Facebook, found his number on the page and took responsibility for collecting the debt.
Mr Lester said: ‘Mr Smalley was very distressed by that, saying he was bankrupt and there was nothing he could do.’
The defendant also telephoned again, speaking this time to the complainant’s wife who told her they had nothing and were still dealing with the bankruptcy.
Mr Lester added: ‘The defendant then phoned and left an answering machine message on the phone.
‘It effectively said Mr Smalley was allowing his family to deal with these things for him.’
The judge declined to grant a restraining order against the defendant in respect of Mr and Mrs Smalley and made no order for costs.
Rebecca Taylor and Alex Matthews
1 February 2017
The Daily Mail