All rise, the Honorable Christopher Hobbs presiding

LACONIA — Even though he's only 8-years-old, Christopher Hobbs wants to be a judge.

Yesterday, he got his chance when Belknap County Superior Court Judge James O'Neill first met with him in his private chambers and then let young Christopher preside over his courtroom — if ever so briefly.

When he was 2 1/2 years old, Christopher was diagnosed with pilomuxoid astrocytoma — a malignant brain tumor.

Since his diagnosis he has surgery three times — most recently on January 15 — and undergone a year-long treatment of chemotherapy.

Despite this, Christopher keeps plugging along. Always fascinated by public safety, when he was 4-year-old he was made an honorary police officer and got to get behind the wheel of the police van and used the lights and siren.

Recently, said mom Leah Hobbs, the Laconia boy has been intrigued by courtrooms and judges.

"We taped every show on judges we could find while he was in the hospital and he's been watching them non stop since he got home," she said.

Christopher was able to return to school but yesterday got a special dispensation in order to meet Judge O'Neill and preside in his courtroom.

After assuring O'Neill he would never get in any trouble, he sat upright in the judge's chair. When court resumed, Christopher and his family stay behind to watch O'Neill in real action.