Judge Clare Beeson did not bat an eyelid when asked to stand down from the Aaron Nattrass fraud trial yesterday. She remained ice-cool, looked defence barrister Paul Harris straight in the eye, and dismissed his application in a sentence. The top District Court judge has been accused of trying to improperly interfere in the trial of New Zealander Nattrass when it was before Judge Brian Caird. But she adopted a 'business-as-usual' approach when handling the case yesterday. Judge Beeson is regarded as being a tough, no-nonsense judge. This is not the first time she has hit the headlines. In 1986, she used unusual tactics to draw attention to calls from magistrates for a higher ranking within the Judiciary. She placed an advertisement in the South China Morning Post which read: 'Magistrate requires well paid, part-time work outside court hours. Anything lawful considered - tennis coaching, English tuition etc. Write stating hourly rates and requirements.' The 47-year-old, from New Zealand, graduated from the University of Auckland. She was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of New Zealand in 1972. Judge Beeson went into private practice and worked in New Zealand between 1973 and 1975. She took up a job as a Crown Counsel in Hong Kong in 1975 and became a Senior Crown Counsel in 1980. Her move into the Judiciary came in 1984. She spent six years as a magistrate and then a further year as Principal Magistrate. She became a District Court Judge in 1991.