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, April 13, 2005

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We had a scruffy man in the other day, facing the usual vehicle offences of no insurance or MoT on his battered old van, while he had never held a licence of any sort. He pleaded guilty, but what caught my eye was the means form that he had been obliged to give us (although out of deference to his less than perfect literary talents the usher had done the writing for him). Age 40. Unmarried, lives with long-term partner. Eight children, from three years old to fifteen. Unemployed. Since when? "my whole life". Moved from Eire to England aged about 18.

Here goes: Income (benefit) £350 per week. Rent paid on top.

We fined him as per the rules, and banned him from driving for six months. The bench were pretty philosophical about it when we went out the back, but the usher was livid. I can understand why, because I know what the ushers are paid.