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, May 22, 2009


Following today's sentencing of those involved in the Baby Peter case, the BBC reports that:

Andrew Flanagan, NSPCC Chief Executive,said:-

"We are disappointed that the minimum tariff was so low. It raises the question of how bad the abuse has to be before offenders get a longer minimum time in prison.

"Baby Peter suffered sustained abuse leaving him with horrendous injuries. Two of his abusers could walk free at a time when Peter should be a schoolboy with a new world in front of him. Despicable cruelty has denied him that opportunity.

"These three caused or allowed the torture and death of a defenceless baby."

Just a moment, Mr. Flanagan. The 'P' in NSPCC stands for 'prevention', not 'punishment'. Your statement has nothing to do with child protection - rather it smacks of revenge. The sentencing judge is highly trained and fully aware of the guidelines set by Parliament and the higher courts. You have no business being 'disappointed' with the sentences, any more that you would have had if you had been 'delighted' by, presumably, the addition of many years to the (nb) indeterminate sentences imposed today.

I am as revolted as anyone at what happened to little Peter, but that is a personal matter. Your opinion should likewise be a personal one and you should not misuse the name of the NSPCC to express those emotional but legally meaningless views.