In the Media

Top female judge Constance Briscoe arrested and bailed

PUBLISHED October 9, 2012

Britain's most successful black judge has been arrested.

Constance Briscoe, 55, one of the first black women to sit as a judge in the UK, was suspended pending the result of the police investigation.

She was detained in Clapham, south London, on Saturday and bailed, but police refused to disclose the reason for the arrest or to specify the nature of the inquiry.

A spokeswoman for the Office for Judicial Complaints said in a statement: "The Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chancellor have suspended Constance Briscoe from the judiciary pending the outcome of the police investigation into the allegations against her.

"It would be inappropriate to comment further whilst the investigation is active."

Kent Police said in a statement: "A 55-year-old woman was arrested in Clapham on Saturday October 6. She was interviewed by officers and then bailed pending further inquiries."

The arrest came two months after Judge Briscoe spoke out about her barrister partner leaving her for a woman 50 years his junior.

She had been with Anthony Arlidge QC, 76, for 12 years, when he told her he had fallen for 25-year-old trainee barrister Heather Lockwood.

Judge Briscoe, a mother-of-two who wrote her memoir Ugly based on her allegedly cruel childhood at the hands of her mother, said she did not harbour any animosity in her heart towards her former partner.

But she has also accused the leading QC of being "bonkers" and "mad".

Judge Briscoe and Mr Arlidge shared a £1 million Clapham home and were working out ways to spend his impending retirement when he left her.

She said she was "astonished and terribly upset" by his decision.

But she recently revealed she was "extremely happy" in a new relationship of her own.