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, June 05, 2011

Plate Sin With Gold........

A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see how yond justice rails upon yon simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: change places; and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?

Case One: A poor man goes into a large supermarket and steals £15 worth of goods. He is seen by staff, and police are called. He comes to court like so many others and is dealt with according to law.

Case Two: An elderly gent (and I have a particular one in mind here) who is no longer as organised or clear-headed as he used to be, lives on a state pension and spends his days cooped up in a tiny flat, venturing out to the pub for a couple of hours' company most afternoons. Like most of us he banks with one of the Big Four - in this case Lloyds. The bank sell him a premier account, the 'benefits' of which are listed here. Virtually none of them is of the slightest benefit to an old man eking out a state pension and in poor health, and he is charged £300 per year for it - more than two weeks' income. Just read what Lloyds gave him for his £300 - mobile phone insurance for example; one of the biggest ongoing rip-offs perpetrated on the public. Fair enough, if I buy this cover, that's my lookout, but what's the ethics of flogging it to this gentle but slightly confused old boy? Worse still, the shysters who sold him his mobile phone had already flogged him insurance anyway, at a premium of £14 for a £19 pay as you go phone - and the policy doesn't even cover theft!

Case One and Case Two are both examples of greed and dishonesty. I happen to think Case Two is the worse. But it's above board, and the directors who supervise this shabby little racket get paid millions, and it's all perfectly legal.