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, August 02, 2011

Simple Pieman - or Flans For The Memory

The publicity-seeking idiot who assaulted Rupert Murdoch in a Parliamentary hearing has been given a prison sentence by DJ Daphne Wickham (the Deputy Chief Magistrate).

We can all form our own assessment of the seriousness of the offence. On the one hand there was no physical injury, although simply frightening an 80 year-old can have its dangers. The attack took place in Parliament, which is an affront to our democracy, in which Parliament is supposed to be the fount of reasoned and civilised debate. It was premeditated and potentially dangerous items were smuggled past security - mercifully they were harmless. So perhaps the sentence isn't miles out, but of course six weeks means three, which means 21 days. Given current practice an offender who was not in the public eye like this bloke would be home in a couple of weeks or less, on a tag. Some prisons wouldn't even take him in for such a short stretch.

Any bets on when he gets out? Because of his fame, it could be almost three weeks. But if the prison is under a bit of pressure (plenty of officers are on holiday in August) he could be back home this time next week.

By the way - another paper reports that he was ordered to pay a 'victim' surcharge of £15. I have never heard of that being imposed where there was no fine.