Magistrate Catherine Crawford will continue sitting as a full-time Children’s Court magistrate in Fremantle, Armadale and Rockingham courts after she withdrew her lawsuit against the president of the court, Judge Hylton Quail.
Ms Crawford will be based in the Fremantle Children’s Court from mid-November.
Ms Crawford’s civil trial that was being heard before the Supreme Court of Western Australia ended abruptly on Wednesday, which was the second day Ms Crawford was due to give evidence in the witness stand.
Shortly before lunch, the court heard that the matter was no longer proceeding and Supreme Court Justice Jeremy Allanson made no order about costs.
Ms Crawford was suing Judge Quail for shifting her chambers to the Fremantle courthouse, where she would not be able to sit as a children’s magistrate, in what her barrister Grant Donaldson SC described as “harassing, intimidatory and bullying” behaviour by the court president.
But the court also heard allegations that during Ms Crawford’s tenure at the Perth Children’s Court she had created a “toxic workplace”, intimidating court staff and reducing one staffer to tears.
Some of those staff were expected to give evidence, as were the previous presidents of the children’s court – including Chief Judge Julie Wager.
Judge Quail “lost confidence” in Ms Crawford over an August case involving two Aboriginal youths in Banksia Detention Centre, in which one inflicted a serious unlawful wounding to another and she deferred sentencing so the prosecution could seek a victim impact statement, the court heard.