Judges should not take hold of material that was not evidence in a case and use it to damage a defendant’s credibility. In the instant case concerning a charge of theft, the judge had undermined the defendant’s evidence of her financial situation by questioning her on financial information contained in her application for legal aid. Such conduct was expressly prohibited by the Access to Justice Act 1999 s.20.
ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT 1999 s.20
 EWCA Crim 1896 June 30, 2009