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, 22 September 2014

MOTORING COURT



It is common practice that a motoring court will comprise many dozen cases.  The last such sitting was no exception.  We had over sixty defendants listed with about two dozen having multiple charges.  There were twenty two appearances one of whom was of that well known tribe; the Freemen of England.  In the usual manner of those people he tried to overwhelm the court by his outspoken opinions of who and what were  fit to hear his case.  With a L/A who takes no nonsense and a chairman not known for his reticence he was persuaded to plead to “no insurance”  being advised it was a strict liability offence.  His “not guilty” resulted in a trial date being set and his response to  bench advice that the case would still proceed if he didn`t turn up was greeted with ,”Don`t you worry your worship I`ll be there with all my evidence”, whereupon he showed us all a thick pile of papers in a transparent envelope.  I`m sure my colleagues in November will be up to the task of providing justice although from my past experience it will require patience, tact and a firmly drawn  red line which, if breached, unlike that before the esteemed  chieftain  Mr B O`Bama  last year   should provoke sanctions.  We had two totter defendants, one of whom was represented,  arguing exceptional hardship. That particular gentleman might have felt his money was not well spent when his argument was rejected.    We accepted the other`s plea and banned him for 14 days.  Unusually there were two cases of  permission to drive as a defence against no insurance.  Both were rejected.  Two totters were disqualified for the mandatory six months and five other non appearances were summonsed to appear to argue why they also should not be disqualified as totters.  A speeder caught doing 104MPH in a 70 zone whilst driving his Aston Martin was quite relaxed when his fine and costs of over £1,000 plus four weeks disqualification were announced.  Compared to the Swiss courts he got off lightly.  Presumably he could afford to employ a driver for the prescribed period.  A German gentleman earning over  £2,000 per week after tax was most surprised that even with a guilty plea he was fined an amount commensurate with his income for no insurance. 

All in all just a normal sitting in the motoring court.

3 comments:

  1. Here in our LJA we no longer deal with first-listed traffic offences in the adult court, but they go to a centralised traffic court in Oxford for the whole of Thames Valley. We only get them back if it is someone local for trial or facing disqualification, it being unreasonable to make witnesses or someone about to be put off the road to be faced with a 100-mile round trip on patchy public transport.

    Re Freemen of the Land, we had one in some months ago arguing that he was a peer of the realm (through lineage from an ancestor appointed by Napoleon's right-hand man Marshal Ney, no less) and produced letters patent and documents 'proving' that peers did not have to pay state taxes. Rather than waste time arguing with him over something about which the Bench or Legal Adviser knew nothing, we passed it on to our friendly resident DJ. Never did hear the outcome...

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  2. Seems to me the courts are running scared of Freemen and Sovereigns. With the lack of Legal Aid funding available what did you expect? People have to defend themselves and are willing to learn to do it. Perhaps its about time our 'noble' Magistrates started to enquire for themselves instead of relying on on LA's who are (lets be honest here) bought and paid for by the 'Crown'. The ECHR states we are all entitled to a "Fair and impartial hearing". How are British Courts 'fair' never mind 'impartial,' when you've all sworn an oath to the Crown and the Crown is prosecuting. Doesn't sound fair to me!

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