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, September 04, 2011


Here is a story in - guess? - The Mail about a perfectly routine and unexceptional bit of prison management. Only those on very short sentences are left in the big city prisons for long, because they have limited space that is needed for the rapid turnover of inmates - last time I was at Pentonville they told me that they turn over well over a hundred men every day, a hefty administrative and logistical workload. Remand prisoners need to see their lawyers and families often, hence the need to keep them within sensible travelling distance.
Those such as Gilmour who present a negligible security risk are assessed and then, if suitable, shipped out to a Cat C or Cat D establishment in a few weeks.
I get very tired of newspapers that cannot give the length of a sentence without the prefix of 'just' so many years or months, or who imply that the standard 50% remission of sentence is some kind of special treatment, and that televisions in cells are the ultimate in cosseting those who the Sun delights in calling 'lags'.