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.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

What would you do? (2)

Thanks for all of the comments.

We had two clear alternatives of community penalty plus compensation or prison. Either fitted the guidelines and the law so our discretion was unfettered.

We imposed a Community Punishment Order towards the top of the range, and when I announced that part of the sentence the defendant looked extremely relieved. We also awarded compensation of over £2000 to the victim, plus costs to the prosecution, at which he looked pretty shocked. We said that the order was a direct alternative to custody, and that any breach of it could only have one outcome.
We said that in our view compensating the victim was the principal element of justice, being recompense for damage done, and that the community sentence was a punishment to express society's disapproval and to deter others.