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.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Great Idea

One of my newer colleagues is the Bench's equivalent of Tigger - very bouncy but not always well controlled. He is youngish and very keen, and adds to the overall balance of the Bench.
I sat with him in the summer when we were faced with a tall young man who admitted a public order offence. He submitted a means form showing something like £47 per week Jobseekers' Allowance, and we were, as usual, gloomily contemplating just how little we could fine him when Tigger nudged me, and whispered: "Why don't we ask the jailers to see if he has any cash in his property?". So we did, and they did. He had £177 on him when arrested, which seemed curious for a workless man on less than seven quid a day. We fined him and added the victim surcharge and costs, which came in all to £172. That left him his bus fare home - we do try to be reasonable, you know.