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.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Fishy Business

One of our less-riveting duties is to enforce fishing licences. All money raised from licences goes back into maintaining the waters, so it seems a fair-enough system.

Today we have a brand-new prosecutor, a young barrister. He tells our clerk that he has never prosecuted before, so would the clerk give him a nudge if he went wrong, please. As it happens none of us have done any of these for ages, so I ask the learned Counsel to remind us of the cost of a licence, so that we have an idea where to pitch the fines. Confusion. He doesn't know. His young assistant rushes out of court clutching her mobile, and comes back after a couple of minutes with a piece of paper. "May it please you Sir" he begins "A rod licence costs £23.25 for coarse fish, and £62.25 for salmon and sea trout".

I can't resist it. "Mr. Smith. The salmon and trout rivers of West London are less than renowned, so we shall deal with all of these as coarse fishing licences".