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.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Justice is Blind

The BBC has the story, with which most of us are familiar, of a man who drove a car, mercifully with a friend beside him, without having the traditional asset of a pair of eyes, or indeed of any eyes at all.

One has to feel for the duty CPS person, who had to decide what to charge. Dangerous driving it was then. Pretty hard to deny that one, in all the circumstances.

Sentencers have had their discretion limited little by little over the years, and the sentencing court in this case had no alternative (it's here on page 162) to imposing a ban and requiring a compulsory re-test. Naturally, that looks ludicrous, and the press have taken full advantage of the opportunity to imply, nudge-nudge, that the courts are stupid and gullible. The man was given a suspended prison sentence (more press mockery, but what the hell is the point of cluttering up a cell with this guy?).

Whoever sentenced this bloke was asked a silly question, and the law required them to give a silly answer. What else could have they have done?

(Thanks to Bill for the link)