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.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Domestic Violence - The Sequel

Just after posting about Domestic Violence the other day I was at court while the adjacent courtroom spent all day trying a DV case. I can't pass on most of what my colleagues told me over lunch, but the case seemed to have many of the features that we so often see - a turbulent relationship, a problem family, a reluctant victim (who had in fact turned up to give evidence) and a history of more than three dozen calls to the police made either by the woman or by neighbours concerned at the sounds of conflict coming from the flat next door. Only now had lover boy been charged. The only people who knew what had happened were the two protagonists, there being no independent witnesses. The neighbours didn't want to get involved, this being the kind of estate where the police are only ever called in to arbitrate violent and often drunken disputes.

I don't know how it turned out, but when the bench has to reach a verdict beyond reasonable doubt, and the two people involved flatly contradict one another on every single detail, it can be difficult.