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.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Further and Better Particulars Required

There has been a lot of media comment about this case, that was sentenced the other day. On the face of it a community sentence of three years' supervision (that's what used to be called probation) is way below the scale for what I presume was a Section 20 GBH, which carries a maximum of 5 years' imprisonment in the Crown Court, where this case was dealt with. Presumably the magistrates who decided on venue thought that this would be beyond their powers and sent it upstairs (unless of course the defendant elected jury trial).
But there must be more to it than this. The judge will have had a pre-sentence report in front of him, and will have had reasons for sentencing as he did. This looks like a case where the judge's sentencing remarks should be published, to explain the reasoning and to make the debate an informed one.

Later:- Here is the Telegraph's report. And here it is in The Times, which tells us that the man is a paranoid schizophrenic and that the Community Order includes a requirement for mental health treatment. I suspected that some such issue would be present.