Now that I am retired having been many years a magistrate with a long awareness of the declining freedoms enjoyed by the ordinary citizen and a corresponding fear of the big brother state`s ever increasing encroachment on civil liberties I hope that my personal observations within these general parameters will be of interest to those with an open mind. Having been blogging with this title for many years against the rules of the Ministry of Justice my new found freedom should allow me to be less inhibited in these observations.

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Monday, 26 August 2013


There has only rarely been an occasion when, in retrospect, I feel that I have personally come to a wrong decision after a trial.  I might have been in a minority position…..after all that is why there are usually three on a bench……..but my own conscience on my individual decisions has been clear.  However there are the odd times when that condition has been strained.   One such occasion was in June. 

John was defending himself against a minor non violent non CPS charge where his defence was that he was not the driver of the vehicle involved.  He brought no alibi evidence.  He presented no witnesses.  His defence was simply to deny the allegations and   question the veracity of some documents involving the vehicle.  However he did this with passion and eloquence and a certain amount of pathos.  In the witness box he was very convincing but the prosecutor had the evidence in the form of CCTV,  a section 9 statement and DVLA verification details.  We had no option but to convict.  We had weighed the evidence.  After the pronouncement of fine and costs John who had now lost his good character immediately questioned us on the route to appeal. 

The law is man made and man is not a perfect creature.  Perhaps a judge and two colleagues will also find the weight of evidence overwhelming………but perhaps……..?

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