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, September 14, 2010

Cell Door Goes "Wham!"

This Telegraph piece sympathises with George Michael, who has been given a short prison sentence by DJ Perkins. In my view the sentence was inevitable: it is in reality quite hard to receive a prison sentence from a Magistrates' Court, as we all follow our guidelines and use a community sentence or (if the offence clearly passes the custody threshold) a suspended sentence wherever possible. But look at Michael's record, and at this offence:- not just a repeat offender, but someone driving so stoned that he lost control and crashed in a busy urban area. Mercifully, nobody was hurt or killed. To cap it all, Michael is extremely rich, so he was well able to afford a driver. The offence can't go up to the Crown Court unless you kill someone, so he got something well up the tariff.
Before anyone gets too excited about this case being dealt with by a DJ, Highbury Corner is one of the Central London Courts that has a high ratio of DJs to JPs. I have met John Perkins, and he is a decent and sensible type. I have also sat at Highbury, a few years ago, and I have no wish to repeat the experience, since the courthouse and its surrounding streets are pretty grim. And the biscuits are rubbish.