The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a team, who may or may not be JPs, but all of whom are interested in the Magistrates' Courts.

Monday, August 15, 2005

What a waste!

A few weeks ago I was chatting to colleagues over the lunch break and one bench was clearly far from gruntled. They had spent a totally frustrating half-day and achieved nothing, and the problems that they suffered were so typical that I made a note of them.

10 a.m. Case 1: (Common Assault x 2, Criminal Damage).

Victim withdrew evidence. Police and CPS spent 1 hour in discussion - offered no evidence. Case dismissed.

11 a.m. Case 2: CPS couldn't find their file. Finally located it at 12 noon, defendant hasn't turned up, case proved in absence.

12 noon. Case 3: Defence lawyer (counsel) had not turned up. Case adjourned to join up with co-defendant, trial set for September.

12 noon. Case 4: No police witnesses, because they had been warned to attend on a different date. Defendant failed to turn up - phoned to say he is unwell, told to get medical certificate. Case put off for 7 days to set new trial date.

1 p.m. Bench drink coffee, eat sandwiches, grumble, and go home.

It's a great waste of time and money when this happens, but every magistrate will recognise the situation.