Christopher resigns as magistrate, citing health concerns, but source says ‘bad mind’ pressured him into his decision

A presiding officer in the St. John’s Magistrates’ Court has resigned –
leaving the court even more short-handed, given the suspension of
Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.
A source tells REAL News that Magistrate Craig Christopher
tendered his resignation on Wednesday, August 16, citing health

Christopher returned to the bench only a few months ago, after
having been out for about a year. Reportedly he had sustained a
back injury for which he required surgery and was recuperating
during that time on the advice of his doctors.

The source says that Christopher, the magistrate responsible for
civil cases, will continue to preside over matters until September 29,
when his resignation takes full effect.
However, while the letter gave the formal reason for his resignation,
a source says there is more to Christopher’s decision to vacate the
bench. Allegedly, “bad mind,” backbiting, and attacks on him have
also played a part, the source insists.
Reportedly, someone in the legal hierarchy has been complaining
about Christopher’s appointment to the bench while his private law
office remains in operation.
However, the source explains, Christopher is not directly involved in
the operations of the office, and its day-to-day affairs are being
handled by a junior lawyer employed by the firm.
Reportedly, when he was first appointed to serve as the civil court
magistrate, this matter was raised, the source recalls. But it was
ignored by Chief Magistrate Walsh, since many others holding public
office – including government ministers – retain their practices and
have them run by other professionals.

Among them, the source charges, is the very person who is making
Christopher’s practice an issue, and who appears to have a problem
with another attorney employed in the court system.
The source says that several complaints about Christopher’s
situation have been made to a government official, and this person
continues to exert pressure on the magistrate – although he is in a
similar position, himself.
Christopher is described as a diligent and hard-working magistrate
who is fair in his adjudication.

It is an example of “bad mind,” the source says, that, currently, “only
certain persons are allowed to do certain things” in Antigua and