A judge has accused prosecutors of wasting public money after taking a woman to court for calling someone a "pussy". Aga Czachowska, 31, used the insult over a voicemail when she tried to collect a debt said to be owed to her boss by a client.

But Judge Daniel Pearce-Higgins was astonished to discover her use of the slur had seen her arrested, charged and taken to court.

"That's an offence, is it?" the judge asked prosecutors at Worcester Crown Court on Monday (30 January 2017), where a full-day's trial can cost the taxpayer £3,000 (€3,510, $3,800).

"Good heavens. It's fairly standard behaviour in life. I'm concerned criminal law is properly used, not to stop people swearing at each other.

"To call someone a pussy is impolite. It's not an offence. It's unpleasant but not a criminal act. If that's the case, there's an awful lot of criminals about."

The court heard that Czachowska, of Whipton, Exeter, had telephoned Karl Smalley, who had a £10,000 outstanding debt with her boss, and left a voicemail message that included the insult. Smalley and his wife Cheryl complained to the police, and the case was taken to crown court.

Czachowska admitted sending a malicious communication that was "grossly offensive" between 1 and 7 December 2015, the Daily Mail reported. But the judge appeared to be so unimpressed by the prosecution's case he refused to grant a restraining order against the defendant, instead handing her a two-year conditional discharge.

It comes after a crown court judge was cleared of misconduct last month for swearing at a Nazi-saluting defendant who called her a c***. Patricia Lynch QC told John Hennigan: "You're a bit of a c*** yourself."