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, May 04, 2005

Home Improvements

Some while ago the occupiers of a pair of semi-detached houses fell out. Mr. Singh, the chap in no. 32, was a keen do-it-yourselfer, while Mr. Lawrence in no. 34 was of a less energetic disposition. Mr. Singh was in the habit of working late into the night as well as most of Saturday and Sunday too. The resulting racket from hammering, sawing, sanding and drilling made it hard for the neigbours to watch TV in peace, or to get a proper night's sleep. Complaints had no effect, so Mr. Lawrence finally went to the council who took the case to court where my colleagues granted an order restricting the hours when Mr. Singh could pursue his hobby.

An uneasy peace reigned for a while, until one early evening when Mr. Lawrence and his wife were sitting watching Coronation Street while Mr. Singh was banging away in his living room on the other side of the party wall. Suddenly there was a loud crash, and a hole appeared in the wall and a few bricks fell onto the carpet in a shower of plaster. The head of a sledgehammer appeared, and was withdrawn. Visible through the hole was Mr. Singh's face wearing an expression of surprise.

Pausing only to pick up two of the bricks Mr, Lawrence stormed out of his house and into the Singh front garden. He hurled the first brick through the double-glazed front door, and the second through the front room window, with the words "Here's your fu***ng bricks back, you wanker", followed by an invitation to come out and fight.

Fortunately there was no fight, but Mr. Lawrence did receive a conditional discharge and an order to pay for the damage. Because the damage done by Mr. Singh was accidental the court had no power to order any compensation so it was left for insurers to sort out. I was told some time later that one of the families had moved house, but I never did find out which.