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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ring Out The Old...........

I did my last sitting for the year today, and my last sitting ever for the Bench that I was appointed to. From January 1st we will be merged, like other London benches, with two of our neighbours, and we shall make a start on pushing our work through a severely depleted number of courts. We have lost six courtrooms in the merger, amounting to thirty court days per week, so we can't afford to waste any time.

Today we dealt only with remands, mostly in custody, as these cases can't wait. One man was brought in on a warrant, having been wanted for breaching his community order for about six months. He is also wanted by another court, so we refused bail, and he will be seeing in the New Year in Wormwood Scrubs. Another man had been picked up for a series of burglaries that were too serious for us, so off he went in custody to the Crown Court for sentence, having pleaded guilty. Today's pleas bring his total of convictions to almost 150, so he seems to be a slow learner. We saw a little team of eastern European pickpockets whom we had no hesitation in sending straight inside, having deemed reports to be superfluous.

There was a charming interlude in which I was asked to countersign copies of passports and an application for a marriage licence in a Caribbean country. I signed with due ceremony, the clerk applied the appropriate rubber stamps, then I wished the couple the best for their future together and hoped that they would enjoy their beach wedding.

We were done by early afternoon, so after a quick glass in Court 7 (the pub round the corner) we were off home.

Next week, things will be different. Fingers crossed.