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, December 16, 2006

Young Charmer

Jimmy Thompson comes from a large family with origins among travelling folk. He lives on a big estate that has a tough reputation, where gardens are seldom tended, graffiti abounds, and the few sad local shops all sport roll-down steel shutters. The police are a familiar sight, as there is usually someone they are interested in, or a search warrant to execute. He is 20, and the delights of reading and writing have quite passed him by.
He was hanging out with his mates when a police car drew up, so Jimmy, to whom any uniform is a provocation, strode over, put his face close to the window and invited the officers to fuck off, informing them that they were cunts. He was wearily requested to go away, but continued his tirade when the officer got out of the car. After the customary warnings, he was arrested, struggling wildly and turning the air blue. He yelled for his friends to help him, and he and they were only dissuaded when he received a faceful of CS spray from close range. At that moment two more carloads of police arrived, and the score or so of locals who were enjoying the fun started to drift away.
He was charged with a Section 4 Threatening Behaviour, went Not Guilty, and was convicted by my colleagues. They put the case off for reports, and that is what we had to consider. A medium community penalty was indicated. He had a couple of pages of previous - the usual stuff, a bit of small scale theft, an assault here and a public order offence there (including two unpaid £80 PND tickets). We were thinking of a medium-ish unpaid work order but that was not on because on previous similar orders things had mysteriously disappeared from the work sites and the supervisors did not want him back. So we gave a different community order, and ordered him to pay costs of the trial and a bit of compensation to the officer. This was added to the existing debt, and I mused to myself that it will probably sit there being deducted bit by bit from his benefit until he finally goes inside and it is written off.
Not a very satisfactory outcome then. The whole incident was completely unnecessary, and resulted from the fact that a total loser thinks of himself as dead hard and dead streetwise and wants to show off to his mates. It's hard to feel optimistic about where he goes from here.