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.

Comments are usually moderated. However, I do not accept any legal responsibility for the content of any comment. If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Sometimes there are small news reports tucked away in a corner of the www which require a minimum of comment. They are often a microcosm of just what a reasonably sensible citizen or even a J.P. blogger for that matter might consider to be indicative of the failing of a very small area in economic terms but a major plank in how we operate as a civil society.

It was sublime when Essex Constabulary discovered in 2010 that cardboard policemen were rather inefficient in deterring the local villains. Truly it was a waste of money at £20 for each of one hundred purchased. Their co cops in Gwent obviously didn`t watch BBC. The idiots there spent £255 each on fifty two of them. Obviously the plods made in Essex have a nose for a bargain when they want to waste public money.

Of course we don`t need police stations; what a waste of money they are. These poor police officers hanging about in a major commercial site in a busy high street waiting for the locals to report some form of actual or suspected criminal activity. And what`s worse? Spending £30 weekly for a table in a disused town hall nearby waiting for the self same complainers. I say bring back the

Tardis to every high street so those whose smart phones have been nicked can call for assistance.

When is an offence an offence? Being of a simple disposition I believe if money to which a person is not entitled eg M.P.s, Police Crime Commissioners etc is used for personal gain either the civil or the criminal law requires to be invoked. Asking for its return before making such decision to prosecute brings the law into contempt.

ASBOs were a perfect example of the Labour Party`s attitude to law `n order. Make a civil order to prevent a future action and five years in the jug if it is disobeyed. Yet they are still being propagated at our courts with terms that can disgrace those so doing.

For every crown court judge castigating court interpreter service by Capita plc there are dozens of magistrates` courts every day experiencing the same omnishambles initiated by the mickey mouse incompetents of HMCTS. I doff my hat to His Honour at Bradford Crown Court.

One would have thought that HMCTS being one of the most `elf & safety conscious employers on the planet would have been aware that the cells at Newcastle Magistrates` Court were a fire risk. After all they must have been subject to umpteen inspections over the years. One would have been wrong. A failure of words has come upon me.

Is it 50%, 60% or 70% of offenders who suffer from mental and/or addiction problems? A joined up society would long ago have processed a system for such unfortunates to by pass the legal system and be forcibly (if necessary) entered into the health system. No wonder the term “asylum” was used to describe a place of refuge. For how many more decades have my colleagues and I to square a circle in dealing with the likes of Richard Collett Harvey?

And finally not least; as a non believer I have some sympathy with Christians who consider the banning of a radio advertisement upheld at the Appeal Court unjust in the extreme. Replace “Christians” with another religion and consider whether their ad would have been banned also. The offensive ad was, “We are CCP. Surveys have shown that over 60% of active Christians are being increasingly marginalised in the workplace. We are concerned to get the most accurate data to inform the public debate. We will then use this data to help a fairer society. Please visit and report your experiences.” The full report is available here.

This is the state in which we live. Thoughtless people running it with hardly a coherent thought in some of their heads.

ADDENDUM 29th November 2013

Oh to be a fortune teller!  Did I write suggesting a Tardis on the High Street?  Please read on.....


  1. Commenting only on the alleged ultra vires payments to the 2 retired police officers, this post is completely wrongheaded. No suggestion has been made here of any criminal offence having been committed, and so there’s no question at all of any “prosecution” arising. In so far as there might be civil proceedings to attempt to recover the money, as with any civil suit the procedures very sensibly require out of court efforts to be made prior to the commencement of any litigation. And, after all, wouldn't it be daft to waste public money on legal action without first finding out if the money would be returned voluntarily.

    1. Your comment is well taken Sub Rosa. It might appear to some that unauthorised payments were taken by the people concerned from a tax payer funded authority. Welfare Benefit fraudsters would not normally be spared a caution or prosecution upon offering repayment.

    2. I don’t depart at all from your view that the system commonly treats poor offenders disproportionately harshly compared to rich tax evaders, etc. However, from what has been put in the public domain so far, there has been no suggestion here that the payments were “unauthorised” or that there was any wrongdoing by the police officers in accepting the payments. Rather it seems that the payments actually were authorised by the police authority in good faith and accepted similarly by the officers – see However, subsequently it seems to have come to light that the payments were ultra vires – i.e. that the police authority did not have the statutory power to make these payments.