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.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Golden Minutes

I have just been reading the comments on my Trial and Error post and the issue of the Police caution has come up. When we are hearing a trial, I give especial weight to what was or was not said in the first five minutes after arrest. It is a deep human instinct to react indignantly when wrongly accused - just try telling a child off for something that he did not do, and see how you get on. To take a simple example, if a driver is breath tested in a pub car park but waits until his trial three months later to claim that he was just moving the car to park it safely before walking home, we are entitled to wonder why he did not say anything to the officers at the time.

On another topic, one of the questions that friends ask me most frequently is "What do you think of Judge John Deed?" Well it is complete tosh of course, and a real-life Deed would be out on his ear in no time, but it is enjoyable tosh. I lunched with a roomful of judges last year, and they were all eagerly discussing what Deed would be getting up to in that evening's episode. I think that the idea of a judge being sexy rather appeals to them, and they empathise with the idea of sinister and manipulative civil servants trying to keep the judge in order.