A British Judge stunned his courtroom with an outspoken attack on the prosecution of a man who racially abused an Asian doctor
Paul Darlow was hearing the case against Matthew Stiddard, who was charged after calling a police surgeon a "****ing Paki".
The judge condemned the case as "nonsense" and said Dr Imraan Jhetam should have let the insult "roll off his back".
When a prosecution lawyer insisted the doctor was entitled to protection from racial abuse, the judge remarked: "Next time call him a fat bastard and don’t say anything about his colour."
Last night Dr Jhetam, a South African who is 5ft 4in and 15st, refused to comment.
But colleagues at Devon Police jumped to his defence and said judges should not be undermining the "dangerous" job of a police doctor.
Lawyers at Exeter Crown Court were clearly surprised by Judge Darlow’s remarks in the case, in which Stiddard had pleaded guilty to causing racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.
The judge said it was inappropriate for the court to be dealing with a verbal insult and that to charge 36-year-old Stiddard for his comments was a "nonsense".
"I wonder what this is doing in the Crown Court," he said.
"This was a single sentence to a man who should not have taken it so seriously.
"He is a man of some considerable standing in society and I cannot see that it caused him any distress or hurt.
"To charge it in the first place rather than say let it go by with a caution strikes me as rather odd.
"We let people hit each other and break into people’s homes and they are not charged."
Abused surgeon hits back at judge
Judge: Don't be racist, call him fat instead
Don't call him that, call him fat, says judge