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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Cunning Plan

The Council Tax martyrs have reminded me of an oddity from a long time ago. A young nurse died in Saudi Arabia in odd circumstances. Her father, a retired detective, was convinced that a particular person had murdered her but was inhibited from saying so by the fear of being sued for libel.

To get round this he stopped paying his rates (the precursor of Council Tax) and was duly summoned before the magistrates. In the courtroom, which was filled with reporters he had tipped off, he made all of his allegations knowing that court proceedings are privileged, and that he was thus safe from being sued. The reporters could then publish what he had said.

He was probably pushing his luck when it comes to contempt, but he got what he wanted anyway.