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 08, 2005

Naughty But Nice

Sometimes I am overwhelmingly tempted to tease a lawyer who is appearing in front of me. I tend to stick to those I know, although I have occasionally picked on complete strangers.

The other day I was dealing with a couple of hopeless rheumy-eyed shambling drunks. They had made a nuisance of themselves yet again, and had been charged with a handful of public order offences between them. They were obviously pissed in the dock, as they are for most of most days, and occasional burblings and giggles emanated from their direction. We dealt swiftly with the offences on the sheet, imposing fines that we deemed served by their detention in the police station. It is hopeless to expect fines on these people to be paid, and community penalties are out of the question.

Then the big one - we made an ASBO, after pruning the requested conditions down to a reasonable and lawful level. I didn't suppose for a moment that they understood what I was on about, so on concluding my required pronouncement I said :- "Mr. Cxxxxxxx, your lawyer, will be delighted to explain what this order means. In fact if you have any queries at all you should ask him, as he has plenty of time to answer your questions".

Mr. Cxxxxxxx gave me a look that combined the rueful and the venomous, and went outside to await the arrival of his clients.