Thailand

Judge throws a tantrum, again

A judge was caught on camera losing her temper and berating people around her when she was issued a ticket for obstructive parking - and may now lose her job.

The video went viral after it was posted by Facebook user Piyawat Suwanwong, a traffic police volunteer.

Mr Piyawat wrote that the incident took place on Monday afternoon at the Department of Land Transport in Mor Chit, Bangkok.

The angry woman in the video was identified as Chidchanok Paensuwan, 44. She is a judge working at the Courts of Justice.

The video poster wrote that Ms Chidchanok arrived at the department to sort out a falsification of car registration issue.

When Ms Chidchanok returned to her vehicle without obtaining a licence plate, she became upset on finding a ticket attached to the vehicle for obstructive parking. Her car was parked right in front of the office building.

The woman went back into the building, yelled at staff and threw one of the plastic water containers placed at the front door.

She then strutted to her car, showed her ID card to the person who recorded the incident and shouted: "Bear in mind that I'm your boss! You don't have to photograph my face!"

As the video spread online, netizens called on authorities to take action against the judge, describing her behaviour as "inappropriate".

In an update late Thursday, the Courts of Justice said she is under investigation and could lose her position as judge.

CoJ spokesman Sitthisak Wanachakij told reporters that Ms Chidchanok had been found to suffer from stress and had lost control when under pressure.

He said Ms Chidchanok had been transferred to the Courts of Justice, but she is not allowed to arbitrate in court or interact with members of the public.

"Ms Chidchanok is being treated. If she takes her medication, she can work without showing signs of stress. She is under close watch by her superiors and I ask the public to feel for her," Mr Sitthisak said.

A different spokesman, Suebpong Sripongkul, said the Supreme Court president has been informed of her behaviour. If found guilty, she will be dismissed as judge and from the civil service.

Mr Suebpong said Ms Chidchanok has worked as judge for 10 years and committed prior offences.

She was first taken off active judge duty over a disciplinary violation in 2012 when she pulled out in the middle of the Phahon Yothin Road near Ying Charoen Market in Don Muang district, halting traffic. It was unclear why she stopped her vehicle.

The Office of the Courts of Justice temporarily removed her from presiding over cases and assigned her to assist other judges in the courts of first instance.

In July 2013, Ms Chidchanok hit the headlines for throwing rice and an omelette at former city police chief Kamronwit Thoopkrachang's car because she was "not happy with the way police work".

That led to her being transferred to an inactive post at the Office of the Courts of Justice. The court sentenced her to a two-month jail term, suspended for one year, and fined her.

LTD deputy director-general Chirute Visalachitra said Thursday the department will not press charges against the judge.


Video credit: Facebook user Piyawat Suwanwong

Published: 21 Jan 2016