Ex-con thanks, praises tearful judge

Jan. 19, 2012 at 8:40 AM

TORONTO, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A Canadian judge was brought to tears when a man he sentenced seven years ago returned to court to thank him for turning his life around.

Maxwell Beech, 37, sought out his former lawyer Tuesday at a courthouse in Brampton, northwest of Toronto, and asked if he could speak to Senior Judge Hugh Atwood in court.

The judge agreed to the unusual request during a lull in proceedings, and Beech proceeded to tell him of his successes with his own business and raising his now 8-year-old son, the Toronto Star reported.

Beech's former lawyer, Gary Batasar, told the Star Beech's impromptu speech brought tears not only to the judge, but everyone in the half-filled courtroom.

Beech had a lengthy and violent juvenile record and stood before Atwood for sentencing on gun and drug-related charges. Prosecutors asked for a 7-year sentence, but Atwood gave Beech 90 days to be served on weekends so he could raise his son during the week, the report said.

Before ending his speech to Atwood with "God bless," he paid him a Biblical compliment.

"King Solomon couldn't have adjudicated better," Beech said.

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