Lawyers feared magistrate as his MUCH younger fiancé boasted about helping decide sentences

A love-struck magistrate took legal advice from his much younger fiancee, it has been claimed.

Court clerk Ashleigh Petrie, 23, boasted about helping Rodney Higgins, who is in his late 60s, decide on sentences, The Herald Sun  reported.

At a legal conference in Bali she was overheard saying that she thought Mr Higgins was ‘too soft’ and encouraged him to come down harder on criminals.

Lawyers working at the court, in regional Victoria, claim they became increasingly concerned about appearing before Mr Higgins because they feared he was being influenced by his younger lover.  

Court clerk Ashleigh Petrie, 23, boasted about helping magistrate Rodney Higgins, who is in his late 60s, decide on sentences

Court clerk Ashleigh Petrie, 23, boasted about helping magistrate Rodney Higgins, who is in his late 60s, decide on sentences 

According to one lawyer a senior criminal barrister became enraged by Ms Petrie’s comments. 

The barrister confronted the couple and there was an altercation that was witnessed by a number of Melbourne’s top legal professionals.  

Attorney-General Jill Hennessy commented on the allegations but said it was an issue to be dealt with by the magistrate’s court. 

However Opposition spokesman Ed O’Donohue was left far more concerned by the allegations. 

‘It’s disappointing that it is diverting attention from the many challenges confronting Victoria’s courts and justice system,’ he said. 

At a legal conference in Bali Ms Petrie was overheard saying that she thought Mr Higgins was 'too soft' and encouraged him to come down harder on criminals

At a legal conference in Bali Ms Petrie was overheard saying that she thought Mr Higgins was ‘too soft’ and encouraged him to come down harder on criminals 

On Tuesday legal professionals came out in support of the happy couple after it was revealed Mr Higgins proposed to Ms Petrie in September.  

Daily Mail Australia has been told the revelations about the couple becoming public have sent shockwaves throughout the court precinct.   

On Tuesday legal professionals came out in support of the happy couple after it was revealed Mr Higgins proposed to Ms Petrie in September

On Tuesday legal professionals came out in support of the happy couple after it was revealed Mr Higgins proposed to Ms Petrie in September 

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