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.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Effing CPS

I'm sorry to get back to the CPS again, but today we were buggered about time and again, once or twice due to stubborn and inflexible policy, but mostly due to simple incompetence and sloppiness.

I can't be too detailed, but to give you a flavour:-

Defendant in court in custody. Bail application. CPS has no papers so can't make any representations. Two hours to sort it out - fortunately we have other work to get on with.

CPS prosecutor turns up two hours late, leaving bench, clerk and staff twiddling their thumbs.

CPS ordered last month to review 18-month old case that is as full of holes as a Swiss cheese. Court direction ignored, no review, case put off yet again (Thirteenth listing!!). We wanted to kick it into touch but for legal reasons we could not.

Prosecutor entirely misses vital (and well-known) piece of case law that says that we have to send a certain case up to Crown Court, and looks shocked when we do so.

Defence asked for Police Incident Record Books (IRBs) in respect of old matters as they have a bearing on the defence case. Request made last May. No books, no idea where they are. Case stalled.

The CPS talk a good story at the top level, but day to day admin, such as getting files to court, warning witnesses, and filtering out hopeless cases are a shambles.

There, I feel better now. Where's the gin bottle, darling?