Cocaine charge lawyer facing new criminal probe

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James Cowled, the judges’ associate who used a character reference from a retired judge to escape career-killing drug charges after he was caught by police in position of a $200 bag of cocaine, is now under a criminal investigation after claims he misled the judge.

Former Federal Circuit Judge Michael Lloyd-Jones has lodged a formal complaint to police claiming he was under the impression Cowled was in court for a drink driving offence.  NSW Police confirmed that a complaint was lodged by the judge at Rose Bay Police Station after he read about the proceedings in the media, The Daily Telegraph reported this morning.

“Police can confirm a formal complaint has been made about the matter,” a police spokesman said yesterday.
“As it is an ongoing investigation we cannot release any more detail.”

Cowled has been stood down from his judge’s associate role at the Federal Circuit Court pending investigations from the Department of Justice and NSW Police, into whether he should be charged with perverting the course of justice.

Lloyd-Jones’ wife told The Telegraph yesterday that her husband was a man of honour but could not comment because the matter is now a criminal investigation.

In court last week, Cowled, who pleaded guilty to cocaine position after he was found snorting it off the a smart phone in the bathroom of Mrs Sippy in Double Bay, told Magistrate Lisa Stapleton that asking for a character reference from the retired judge was “one of the most difficult things I’ve done in my life”.

When Magistrate Lisa Stapleton realised that who had written Cowled’s character reference, she decided to spare Cowled from a career-killing conviction.  She dismissed the charges and placed Cowled on a 12-month good behaviour bond.