Valerie Horton

Retiring judge speaks fondly of Maryborough court

A RETIRING Maryborough judge had a variety of messages in his farewell speech; one slammed the government while the other praised his former workplace.

In his retirement speech on Friday, District Court Judge Hugh Botting slammed the state government over judges' allowances.

He also had the room full of legal delegates in stitches when telling about some of his experiences covering court in Maryborough.

Judge Botting said the local Maryborough newspaper published his favourite headline from his cases.

A woman, who was a mother and grandmother, was sentenced to jail for fraud. Her name was Teresa.

"The headline the next day in the local paper was 'Mother Teresa jailed for fraud'," he said.

He also said windows at the Maryborough court were kept open until it was fitted with air conditioning.

On one night Judge Botting sentenced a man to jail after a jury had returned with a late verdict.

He said at the same time as his sentencing, a band could be heard playing the song Born Free in a nearby hall.

"I was completely unaware of it, I hope (the defendant) was also," he said.

In his speech, Judge Botting made remarks about the state government. He said the Judicial Remuneration Act, which came into effect in 2007, was "ill-conceived".

He also said travel allowances for judges had not changed in 13 years.

While judges were dependent upon the goodwill of governments, Judge Botting said those in power had "little time and interest" in maintaining and improving judicial entitlements.

Judge Botting said a Queensland judge's daily travel allowance was half of what Federal Court judges and judges in other states received.

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