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.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Following an arduous trial that turned out to be much simpler than it looked, we acquitted the defendant. As I was leaving the court I was mildly alarmed to meet him with his mother and brother (also witnesses) waiting for the lift. I was greeted with smiles and nods from the family, so it would have been rude to just turn my back. Then materfamilias, followed by the other relatives, expressed their thanks, and stuck out their hands. Of course I shook those hands, but I made no comments and contented myself with an awkward grin and a nod of the head.

What would you have done?

Mind you, nothing can equal a case from years ago that we acquitted, when I met the accused on the way to the car park, and he said, having made eye contact: "Thanks, Mate, You're a dead fair judge"

I still treasure that remark.