Judge: 'You're in a courtroom, not a beach'

The summer-style shorts and jandals of some defendants in the Alexandra District Court today have drawn sharp rebukes from the presiding judge and orders to go home and change.

Judge Michael Turner has sent seven people away from the courtroom this morning to change out of clothing that has included shorts, jandals and singlet tops.

"I know it's hot outside, but there are certain standards that need to be maintained,'' he told one defendant, who was wearing a t-shirt and shorts.

"You're in a courtroom, not a beach,'' he told another, who was wearing a singlet top and shorts.

"That might be appropriate for going down to the water and going fishing, but not here,'' he told another.

Lawyers were instructing clients who were inappropriately dressed to go home and change and one lawyer said she was sending people to The Warehouse to buy new clothes.

When one defendant returned to the dock still inappropriately dressed and the judge was told he could not afford to buy new clothes, Judge Turner said he would not make an exception for that person, and ordered police to find him something else to wear.

When another person called to the dock was not present, Judge Turner remarked "word might have spread about the court attire''.

Defendants reappearing so far have changed into jeans and t-shirts.

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