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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Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Exceptions proving the rule generally are bad examples of the law and the legal process at work.  Government figures seem to show that in 2013 there were 134,420 convictions of “violence against the person” in crown and magistrates` courts proceedings and an immediate custody rate of 42.8%.  There appear to be variations in the figures in various analyses. Other tables show 195,139 convictions.  Crown court figures for 2012 where the most serious violence against the person matters are tried have 37,435 convictions; a conviction rate of 73.2%  and a sentence of immediate custody in  37% of such cases.  So it is somewhat surprising that earlier this week the judge at Bournemouth Crown Court refrained from sentencing to immediate imprisonment an offender with seventeen similar previous convictions.  Amongst other requirements she was ordered to undertake during her period of two years suspension of a twelve month sentence was an anger management course.  Of course only those in court were aware of all the facts of this case but as a lowly J.P. I am as astonished as the person on the omnibus to Clapham that such a recidivist should escape a lengthy immediate prison term.  But then who am I to criticise? 

1 comment:

  1. Crown Court sentencing seems to be becoming more and more bizarre. A fraudster who was into only 8 months of a 2 year suspended sentence for similar offending was given a non-custodial disposal because, according to the press's reports of the comments of the Recorder, of the rights of her 4 children. It seems astonishing to fail to activate a suspended sentence in such circumstances but this sort of sentencing is becoming quite common in the higher courts, but thank goodness, not in ours! Of course we don't know all of the facts of these cases but what needs to be done to stop sentencing bringing our CJ system into disrepute?