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, August 10, 2005

Parking Rage

Criminal Damage was the allegation, Not Guilty the plea.

We heard that Mrs. Pearson, a 43 year old married lady, was on her way to work at a local bank and had been parking her car in the public car park. Coming to a crossing point of the car park’s roadways she had paused, and waved on a car coming from the other direction. Misinterpreting her well-meant gesture, the defendant Mr. Lee had leapt from his car, and rushed over to remonstrate with the by now thoroughly alarmed Mrs. Pearson. He then kicked the door of her car, causing the criminal damage that was the subject of the charge. Mrs. Pearson went into work, but her manager, seeing how upset she was, called the police.

We heard first from the lady, and she described her alarm as Lee had rushed over and waved a clenched fist at her through the open window of her car. He had sworn at her. “What did he say?” enquired the prosecutor. “I can’t say that word” she replied “I have never ever used it”. The chairman leant forward “Mrs. Pearson, this is not a court of morals, it is a court of law, and what you say the defendant said is important evidence. My colleagues and I have heard it all before, I assure you”. The witness burst noisily into tears. The usher scurried over with the tissues and a cup of water, and the chairman offered to withdraw if she needed a moment, but she said that she would be all right.

She braced herself and said “He called me a fucking bitch, and said that if I couldn’t drive I should stay off the fucking road and that if I waved at him again he would smash me, and did I think that he was some sort of cunt. He then kicked the car door”.

Well, she had broken her taboo, the floodgates were open, and by the end of her evidence and cross-examination she was effing and blinding wherever required.

We convicted the oaf, and fined him £250 plus £120 costs and £225 compensation to repair the car door. We then added £50 personal compensation to Mrs. P. for the distress she had suffered. Although no physical contact occurred she was very frightened indeed, so we thought that the cost of a modest dinner in a restaurant might make her feel a little better. We couldn’t add anything on for making her use the f-word though.