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, May 26, 2009

Oddly Familiar

This morning's list consisted of a trial, estimated at a half day, with a couple of reports (sentencing) cases down for 2 p.m.
The trial could not start on time, for reasons we could not blame on the parties. So we filled in with a few odds and ends from other courts; nothing special there, except the unedifying sight of a scraggy young man kicking off in court when I told him that he had been refused bail. He is one of those unprepossessing but ultimately sad characters who has found out the hard way that however much defiance he has chosen to show to authority in his youth he will finally come up against someone who will say 'no' and mean it. Today that someone was me (agreed by my colleagues of course). The custody staff dealt with him firmly and professionally, and down the steel stairs he went.
The trial itself finally came on at such a late hour that we clearly had to accept its going part-heard (on the whole, a Bad Thing) or putting it all off to another day.
That sorted, we dealt with business from the other courts, before breaking for lunch.
The sentencing was as straightforward as it could be, with a few tweaks that I can't mention.
The twist in the tail was a complex (and unplanned) bit of case management, enlivened by a defence solicitor with a style that might do well in a TV talent show. Again, I can't say a lot, but I did emerge with my loathing of sloppily-drafted ASBOs confirmed.
And so to the pub.