Court staffer Emily Jackman takes to twitter to support a magistrate who is dating a staffer | #facebookdating | #tinder | #pof


Court staff have cheekily defended a magistrate who proposed to a court clerk who is less than half his age during a romantic trip to Fiji. 

Magistrate Rodney Higgins – who is in his late 60s – proposed to his girlfriend Ashleigh Petrie, 23, last month.

The controversial relationship has reportedly seen magistrates warned off inappropriate relationships with judicial officers. 

Court clerk Emily Jackman has expressed her support for the loved-up couple, taking to twitter to like a comment slamming an article outing the relationship

Ms Petrie (pictured with Rodney Higgins) announced her announcement to the father-of-three and grandfather on Facebook during the end of last month

Court clerk Emily Jackman has expressed her support for the loved-up couple, taking to twitter to like a comment slamming an article outing the relationship

Miss Petrie excitedly shared photos of their trip on social media and described Mr Higgins as the love of her life.   

The front page story on Wednesday’s Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne saw an angry response from some of its readers. 

While court staff are not in the habit of making public comments, one popular clerk couldn’t help but get involved. 

Court clerk Emily Jackman expressed her support for the loved-up couple with a big ‘love heart’ symbol approving a tweet slamming the article. 

‘How is this news? Two consenting adults get engaged and go on holiday. Gee hold the front page!’ it read. 

Ms Jackman, who classes high profile magistrate Costa Kilias as a friend on Facebook, couldn’t help but ‘like’ the tweet. 

Mr Kilias is perhaps best known for playing Farouk, Darryl Kerrigan’s Lebanese neighbour in the 1997 film The Castle, which centres on a David and Goliath High Court challenge by ordinary Australians fighting the compulsory acquisition of their homes.

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

Twitter Love: Court clerk Emily Jackman likes a tweet supporting a relationship between a magistrate and a clerk

Court clerk Emily Jackman has expressed her support for the loved-up couple, taking to twitter to like a comment slamming an article outing the relationship

While most quietly support the warning, it has allegedly upset some of the court’s younger staffers. 

Amid complaints about Ms Petrie constantly entering the private chambers of Mr Higgins, the magistrate is due to be relocated to Bendigo from his current role at the Sale and Bairnsdale court circuit, The Herald Sun reported on Wednesday.

Peter Lauritsen, Victoria’s chief magistrate has reportedly been told by staff that Ms Petrie was entering Mr Higgins’ chambers.

Mr Lauritsen raised the issue twice with another magistrate, making it known the clerk was not allowed to do so, according to a source.

The 23-year-old was also spoken to about not using the Magistrate’s reserved car parks. 

‘The Chief Magistrate has no comment on the personal lives of magistrates or staff,’ a spokesperson said on behalf of Mr Lauritsen.

Emily Jackman liked a tweet supporting a relationship between a colleague and a magistrate

Staff were sent an email about inappropriate relationships between judicial officers in the wake of the couple’s engagement

Magistrate Costas Kilias is a Facebook friend of the twitter loving clerk Emily Jackman

Ms Petrie announced her engagement to the father-of-three and grandfather on Facebook during the end of last month.

‘What an amazing 10 days it has been here in Fiji! Firstly, I arrived as Rods girlfriend and I leave as rod fiancé! I cannot wait to become Mrs Higgins!’ she wrote online.

‘It started with a crush and now I have a ring on my finger. The love of my life asked me to marry him and I said YESSSS.’

‘I don’t know how I got so lucky to find such a sweet and caring man with the same sense of humour, this amazing man is the love of my life!’

During their trip the pair were spotted zip lining, meeting a Fijian tribe and swimming together in a holiday detailed in a series of romantic posts.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria for comment. 

Court clerk Emily Jackman has expressed her support for the loved-up couple, taking to twitter to like a comment slamming an article outing the relationship

During their trip the pair were spotted zip lining, meeting a Fijian tribe and swimming together through a series of romantic posts (pictured)



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