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.

My Photo
Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Friday, March 23, 2007


My experienced and trusted legal adviser was guiding me through a busy list today, when he looked up at a defendant who had just been brought into the secure dock, glanced at his papers, and appeared to lose the power of speech. He handed the file to the defence brief, then to the prosecutor, each of whom glanced at it, looked down and tried to avoid my gaze. "Well?" was my question. With an effort of will the lawyers got the case going, and we dealt with the regular customer who faced us on the customary drink-related charge.
Once he had gone, I had to ask. "Come on then, what was all that?" Without a word the clerk handed up the charge sheet that had been completed in the police station. It was in standard format, except that in the biographical details section the custody officer had completed the box headed 'Occupation' with a single word: