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.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Nutters 'r' us

Some self-styled English Freemen have staged a pointless and self indulgent protest in a court in Cwmbran (English Freemen?) and video recorded stuff on mobile phones.

Here's a bit of their rant:-
Here we see Englsih Freemen standing in court as Lay Advisors to another Freemen.

This is for a Council Tax Liability Order hearing in Cwmbran Magistrates Court in South Wales, There were 14 Freemen in attendance.

The court was never convened as the Freemen never handed juridiction to magistrates or the clerk by standing up when ordered to do so and the magistrates never sat down.

The magistrates twice abandoned the court (the ship) and it was the Freemen who called the Police and at one point the Lay advisor can clearly be heard calling attending Police Constables to arrest the magistrates for impersonating judges.

There were many criminal acts committed this day by the company personnel (Magistrates, solictors, security and the clerk) and Police complaints are under way pending prosecutions for Fraud among other things.

Once you have battled through the syntax, the only serious issue appears to be the recording of court proceedings, an act that the law expressly prohibits.

Most magistrates see something like this once in a blue moon, and a firm and confident chairman and clerk can almost always deal with it, but if the contempt is designed to obstruct court proceedings then a swift and condign response is called for - something like 14 days in my view.

Video technology has moved fast and cameras have become smaller and more easily concealed. My son owns a professional quality camera that is little bigger than my little finger, with a lens the size of a button. Courts need to be aware of this, and benches need to be on the qui vive for illicit video recording. Deciding what to do when an incident is uncovered will be tricky.