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.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Terry had been a boxer in his time - not one of the best but useful all the same. By the time I came to know him boxing was all behind him and he was a regular in court, invariably after an all-too-enthusiastic session on the Guinness. In those days the police would arrest drunks (I have no idea what they do with them nowadays, but we rarely if ever see a plain 'drunk' without the 'disorderly' add-on) and he would be brought up from the cells with what must have been the mother of all hangovers. He had a strange kind of dignity about him, and he was always polite and friendly to the court staff. His appeals to the bench were legendary:-

"Sir, it is a well known fact in this town that I do not take a drink during Lent. The reason for my lying down in the street was that I was very tired after a late night. The reason for my having a bottle of whisky in my pocket is that I was on the way to the park to meet my friends, and to offer them an Easter drink". (fined ten pounds)

"Madam, you and the two gentlemen will go outside now, and you will come back and you will either say 'guilty' or 'not guilty'. If you say 'guilty' then you will make me pay a fine or you will send me to the prison. Whatever you decide, all I want to say is God bless you for good Christian lady and gentlemen". (fined ten pounds or one day's detention - deemed served).

(After being found not guilty because a very young PC had messed up the caution and his notebook):-
"This is a tabernacle of mercy!"

Then one day somebody said that they hadn't seen him for some time and the usher said that he had been found dead in the park, apparently on his way home from a session with his pals. In an odd way he was a gentleman among drunks - he never gave any trouble or caused any violence, and always took his punishment without complaint. In a funny way, I miss him.