My Lords, I wish to make a Personal Statement. On 10 December 2012, during a Report stage debate on the Crime and Courts Bill, I intervened to answer a suggestion that judges did not need protection, as reported at col. 865 of the Official Report. I had not prepared what I was going to say. 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 true that Fathers 4 Justice had made any death threats against me.
It was also unfortunate that two West Country 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 Fathers 4 Justice asked for a public apology. The most convenient way to do so seemed to be by a Personal Statement to this House.
I reiterate that I withdraw any allegations of death threats against me by Fathers 4 Justice and apologise unreservedly to them.