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 21, 2007

Of Wigs and Wodka

It's been a busy week, and I haven't had time to comment on the fascinating range of stories that have been in the news. Far and away the oddest was the story of the barrister who was sent to prison for fabricating a legal case and sending it to a litigant with the intention of trapping him into using it in court, so that Mr, Barrister could then denounce it as a fraud. Try as I may, I cannot begin to imagine what was in Bruce Hyman's mind. The judge said that a 12 month sentence was the minimum he could impose, and I have to agree.
Talking of lawyers, there is another story about allegedly poor behaviour by solicitors and Counsel in court. I try to run my court firmly but fairly, and to treat all court users with courtesy but it does try my patience to see a solicitor or barrister, on his feet addressing the court, take a swig from a bottle of mineral water. I will politely invite them to use one of the beakers that are available in the courtroom. They wouldn't do it in front of a judge, and I won't let them do it in front of me.
Cambridgeshire is feeling the impact of the large number of East Europeans who congregate there, mostly to fill the demand for agricultural workers. We see something similar on my mostly urban patch, in particular with offences involving drink, for which many 'New Europeans' seem to have a propensity.