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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Monday, 3 February 2014


I have commented more than once of the Senior Presiding Judge`s advice to magistrates that they should not blog.  His advice is also that we J.P.s should be circumspect in our public comments to the media.  Where then does that leave my J.P. colleague Abid Sharif who has made a great deal of noise in the Daily Mail after having had the dreadful experience of having been burgled?   His comments might be echoed by many on or off the Bench but should they have been made?


  1. Very likely these uninformed comments would be echoed by many off the Bench but, let us hope, not by many who are on it. The sentencing guideline for this sort of domestic burglary sets a starting point of 3 years’ imprisonment with a range from 2 years up to 6 years. As to Mr Sharif, I’d guess the powers that be will make a lot of allowance for the distress he suffered so that it will be left to the Bench chairman to have a word rather than taking formal proceedings. Without that mitigation, however, no doubt he’d have been in hot water.

  2. Whilst I do have every sympathy for the victim of this crime I do feel he was most unwise to comment to a newspaper in the manner that he has. I also wonder how the paper heard of this particular burglary? With the offence being so common, especially in the area concerned according to the report and Mr Sharif's own comment, I would have thought it would not have received much publicity. Did Mr Sharif approach the paper? If so then I would think he's for the high jump.

    I have a great deal of sympathy for the victim of this crime and understand exactly how he feels but as a JP I would not be talking to the press.