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.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Doherty Again

The singer Pete Doherty has been sentenced today at Ealing Magistrates' Court (no connection to this blog, as you know). Tomorrow's press will presumably go to town on the story, and I have no doubt that the phrase 'walked free from court' will be used, as the consensus among journos is that it's either jail or a let-off.

Just two points: the guideline entry point for Class A possession is a Community Penalty, (see page 118 here)which he was given, and he was remanded in custody pending today's hearing although he went on to receive a non-custodial sentence, as happens in so many cases.

Both the Bail Act and community penalties are wilfully misrepresented by the tabloids, so we shall see what tomorrow brings.

In response to a question in the comments, details of available community sentence options are in the Bench Book here at page 264 of the pdf file. It's a kind of pick'n'mix but due to shortage of resources not all options are available all of the time.