Supreme Court Justice Bill Wilson is incensed his sudden resignation has been publicly interpreted as an admission of guilt by Acting Attorney-General Judith Collins.

Speaking publicly and exclusively for the first time, Wilson told the Herald on Sunday: "I am very angry at her saying this will allow people to make their own decisions, and agreeing I'd done something wrong."

Justice Wilson stepped down this week. He had been the subject of three separate complaints alleging inadequate disclosure of a business relation-ship with his friend Alan Galbraith, QC, with the suggestion of bias.

The two men were co-owners of Rich Hill Ltd, a company that owned land rented to Rich Hill Stud, a separate thoroughbred company that is part-owned by Galbraith.

Wilson was one of three judges hearing an appeal against a judgment in favour of Saxmere woolgrowers, represented by Sue Grey. Galbraith represented the opposing party, the disestablished Wool Board.

Now, he is hitting back at Judith Collins.

"Look, during the investigation, when unproven allegations were made in the media - later found to be false - she never spoke up for me, and that is her role because a judge can't speak for him or herself. And now here she is implying I resigned under a cloud. It's the opposite. I thought I was helping the Government. [I resigned] instead of appealing and dragging this out for another two years on full salary, with ongoing legal costs, costing taxpayers much more than leaving now with my year's salary and legal costs."

He may walk away with significantly more than $410,000 before tax, but Wilson, 64, reckons the Government got off lightly because prospects of any future earnings as a senior barrister are negligible.

"There is no way I will ever appear in court again as counsel. It would be totally inappropriate." The judge also takes a swipe at lawyer Sue Grey, who called for a public inquiry.

Grey, on behalf of her client, fine woolgrower Saxmere, waged a public campaign against Wilson for misconduct. She said his resignation "shortcut the legal process" and "too many questions need to be answered".

Wilson's gobsmacked: "I offered to go before the Supreme Court judges and be questioned under oath by Grey or the court over my relationship with Alan Galbraith - our business, friendship, everything. She declined that offer."

Disclosure
Deborah Coddington's husband Colin Carruthers QC led Justice Bill Wilson's legal team.