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, February 21, 2012

The Spice of Life

Every day in court is different. Sometimes it is because of the particular business that you have been allocated, be it a trial, non-CPS work such as train fare dodgers, TV licences and suchlike, or 'reports' cases in which we consider sentence on cases that have been adjourned by our colleagues. Sometimes we just face the infinite variety of human frailty, with people who range from the unlucky, to the mildly nutty, to the seriously nasty.
Today was a remand court, when we deal with first hearings of a wide selection of cases; if the offender pleads guilty we either sentence there and then, put the matter off for reports with a view to a community penalty, or send the matter of to Hizonner in the Crown Court.
Today's list got off to a slow start, but once we got going we saw a stream of offenders of every level. There was a sex offender who was sent straight upstairs for alleged offences that are too nasty to describe here, an Eastern European drunk driver, a building worker who lost his temper when drunk and broke a lot of stuff that we ordered him to pay for on top of his fine and costs. There was a fellow who kicked off in a restaurant when his meal was not up to scratch and the staff failed to take him seriously. There was a sad and barely-articulate man who clearly had mental health issues that did not excuse his shouty fit with a neighbour. There was a loser who attempted to sell something that he did not own to another loser who gave him a few hundred quid that he will never see again. All this and more kept us busy until half past five, as we handed down fines, prison sentences, curfew orders, a couple of Conditional Discharges and a driving ban or three.
The evening pint in the local was very welcome on the way home.