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 retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Back Again

Jason is back - again.

This time, he has done it properly. Instead of his usual drive disqualified/drive like a prat charges, he has got himself done for Dangerous Driving. Nasty that - often goes to Crown Court. Judges don't like it, y'know. He's in custody, and his brief doesn't even try to apply for bail, knowing that kamikazes have gone out of fashion these days.

A serious question arises here:- what's wrong with him?

He's not over-bright and his reading and writing are unlikely to gain him admission to Balliol, but he is streetwise, and could easily earn a living wage with the help of his many uncles and cousins. He has been locked up time after time, usually for utterly stupid driving offences. When stopped during his latest insane tyre-smoking hurtle through the residential streets of his own housing estate he came up, word for word, with the same story that he had tried to tell me well over a year ago, involving an urgent illness to his pregnant girlfriend, and what the Sun would call a 'mercy dash' to the hospital. The fact that the girlfriend was not just absent from the car but also, when interviewed by police, evidently svelte, diminished the credibility of his tale.

What happens to him now is out of my hands (either he goes to crown court, or, if he stays with the mags, I shall decline to sit because I have seen him so many times). His sentence is more or less certain, apart from the length.

But why do it, Jason? What is there in your head that makes you do something that gives you a few minutes' exhilaration at most while you must know from experience that jail time will follow? You're no spotty kid, in fact you are in your mid-twenties. I am typing this at home, and you are in your cell in the Scrubs, getting ready for bang-up.

I can't help you, Jason, and if you pulled your strokes where I live I would probably want to shoot you, but I would really like to have an insight into the mindset that leads someone of real, albeit marginal, potential usefulness to society and yourself to, as they say on my patch (which is also your patch) piss it all up against the wall?