Supreme Court judge returns home ready to face fallout over crash

By Daniel Dasey
October 31, 2004
The Sun-Herald


The future of NSW Supreme Court judge Jeff Shaw hangs in the balance as police await the results of blood tests taken after he crashed his car.

Police Minister John Watkins said he expected samples taken following Justice Shaw's smash near his Birchgrove home to be ready for examination by police this week.

Witnesses have described Justice Shaw's demeanour as "bewildered" after the accident and said he pleaded with neighbours not to contact his wife Elizabeth.

The tests will determine if he had alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident.

Justice Shaw, 55, a former NSW attorney-general and leading QC, will be back at work tomorrow having received privately-conveyed support from Premier Bob Carr and Chief Justice Jim Spigelman.

Justice Shaw has told friends he does not wish to embarrass the state's highest court and his fellow judges, and is desperate to protect his family from scandal.

He has raised the subject of resigning from the court if that option would relieve his family and the court from the pressure of media attention.

Speaking through the door of the family home yesterday, Mrs Shaw said her husband, who returned from a trip to China on Friday, would not be commenting.

Justice Shaw cut short his trip to Beijing, where he was attending a law seminar, to deal with the fallout from the accident on October 13.

Reports suggest he was returning to his home on Louisa Road, Birchgrove, at about 11.30pm when he crashed into a neighbour's car and rebounded to the opposite side of the road, ending up in a driveway.