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, June 21, 2011

Pontiff Outed As Catholic! Ursine Faeces Detected In Sylvan Area!

The public do not, apparently, trust lawyers all that much.

At the risk of going against the accepted dinner-party and saloon-bar wisdom, I think that this is unfair. I know quite a few lawyers, and even have a couple in my own family, and I have always found their integrity and professionalism to be of a very high standard. Of course some are better than others, as are some car mechanics and carpenters, but their profession is tightly regulated, and not to 'trust' them is a bit harsh. In court I have seen all kinds of solicitors and barristers, some excellent, some dull, and some of marginal competence, but I have never doubted the integrity of any of them.

Except for one, who did us up like a kipper one fine day. The case was borderline Crown Court, but Mr. T persuaded us that since his client faced two either-way charges our powers would extend to 12 months' prison, so on that basis we took it. We announced our decision, confirmed the pleas, and the prosecutor heaved to his feet and dropped one of the charges - something that the defence must have expected.That left us faced with a woeful under-sentencing, and left me feeling that I had been had. Well that's how the game works, but in the ensuing dozen years everything that Mr. T has put to me has had to be double checked and verified in open court. He knows who he is.