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 14, 2007


Defence lawyers love indications, and those magistrates who have the confidence to give them love them too.
We are about to sentence a reports case. We have read the pre-sentence report outside, and we have had a quick straw poll on how we feel about its contents. We agree that the probation officer's proposed sentence makes sense (this is most often the case where an addiction has to be addressed). Defence brief gets to his or her feet, set on dissuading us from doing the things that we could do but in fact have no intention of doing. As he draws breath, I speak firmly:- "Mr. Smith. My colleagues and I have read the reports and we have had a preliminary discussion of their conclusions. Unless you seek to persuade us otherwise, we are minded to follow the report's recommendations. Of course we will be happy to hear any submissions that you wish to make". The brief glances to check that I have finished, and the next bit usually starts: "I am grateful sir, and I have nothing to add".
Job done, ten minutes saved, everybody happy.