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.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Terminological Imprecision

Sentencing an unbelievably callous and devious young man who gravely injured his girlfriend while driving unlicensed, uninsured, and drunk or drugged or both and then drove her battered body home, forbidding anyone to call the police until he realised that she had died, the judge, Alan Goldsack, QC, the Recorder of Sheffield, said:-

“When you found Kirsty seriously injured, you had no thought for anyone but yourself.

“This a not a sentence of 4½ years. It is effectively a life sentence where the minimum you serve is 4½ years. It might be very much longer.

The judge was careful to explain the sentence, and for once it was properly reported, at least in one paper. It reinforces my strong view that the life sentence needs a new name so that the public can understand just what is being done on their behalf.