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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

21st Century Vandalism

I sat at an 'away' court in North West London a few weeks ago, and on our remand list I was surprised to see among the drugs and the assaults and the drink drives two cases of endangering an aircraft. As far as I know this court's area does not cover any kind of airport, so I wondered what it was all about. I asked the clerk about it before we went in, and the penny dropped. Two young men had been pursuing the popular sport of shining a high-powered laser at passing helicopters, in this case a machine operated by the Metropolitan Police. These lasers can be bought online for a modest amount, and can cause serious danger by dazzling the pilot, and making it impossible for him to read his instruments. I understand that this sometimes happens to airliners in the last stage of their approach to land. It is of course a serious matter, and we had no hesitation in sending the matter up to the Crown Court. I think that it will go to Wood Green - if by chance matters finish up at Snaresbrook and they come before this particular judge they can expect to spend some time where their view of the night sky is severely restricted.