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, September 30, 2006

Take Care

Thinking about the procession of judges that is to take place on Monday, I am reminded of a tale of the old days of Assizes, when the Sessions were opened by a procession of civic dignitaries and judges, mace bearers and all. As the gorgeously robed and bewigged judges approached the court building a man in the crowd made a traditional two-fingered gesture at the leading judge. The judge promptly ordered a police officer to arrest the man, and to bring him into court when required.
A young barrister was sent down to the cells to take instructions, and later in the morning, after his client had been placed in the dock, he delivered his mitigation.
"My Lord, my client wants me to say on his behalf how upset and shocked he is at having caused you offence. Of course he does not deny making a coarse gesture, but he does deny making it at your Lordship. He mistakenly assumed that you were the Mayor".
His Lordship graciously agreed to accept the apology and ordered the man's release. What the Mayor thought about it all is not recorded,.