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.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Family Circle

We remanded a young serial thief today. He has another case pending, so he sleeps in Feltham tonight, as he has done for a week or three.
He brought a fan club to court that half-filled the gallery. I gave them my best glare in case they became too vocally supportive of their man, but there was nothing to worry about.
Among the dozen-and-a-half relatives was a sweet little girl, four years old or so, sitting on an adult's knee. She was very well behaved, but I did catch sight of her gently smiling and giving a discreet wave to her 19 year-old uncle who was seated behind the armoured glass of our secure dock, flanked by two custody officers.
Family support is one of the positive indicators when it comes to reforming offenders, and this chap had lots of it.
But after he had gone down the steel staircase to sit in a cell while waiting for the van to take him back to prison, I was moved to wonder how I would feel if one of my dear granddaughters were to be taken to watch a relative being sent down.