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, February 22, 2006

Could This Have Been Put Better?

A press report of a young man who was given an £80 fixed penalty (that he now plans to take to a court hearing) for using the F-word in conversation with a friend, comes up with this:-
A Kent Police spokesman confirmed: "He didn't swear at the police, he was talking to his mates [but] it was close enough to the police officer.

"It's an offence under the Public Order Act. It's quite reasonable to give someone a fixed penalty notice and if someone doesn't want to pay it they can go to court.

"Some people think it [the fine] is over the top, some people think it's perfectly reasonable.

"It's one of those things that divides people, like Marmite."

Kurt's case is due to be heard at Ashford Magistrates' Court on March 31.
That spokesman may live to regret the Marmite reference if I am any judge of these things. Dishing out a ticket for something this trivial is the kind of thing that makes the police look silly and vindictive. Bringing Marmite into it is sillier still. What was really needed was a quiet word from a wise and experienced old Sergeant, but we don't see many of those nowadays.