"I have spent 15 years on the bench and was in the very privileged position of sitting as a chair in the adult and youth courts gaining knowledge and experience every day that I sat. We would exercise our discretion on every aspect of sentencing, within the guidelines, and arrive at a proportionate sentence for the offence charged. I cannot tell a defendant that the costs are reduced because they do not have the means to pay them then say, without any regard to personal circumstances, that I also impose £180 admin fee (that is what it is) and warn that a prison cell is waiting if they do not pay."
His is an opinion probably shared by the majority of his colleagues nationwide. It is thought that at least twenty other J.P.s have resigned. The Justices Clerk to my old bench has written to all my former colleagues telling them that if they are unhappy to be imposing the charge they should resign.
Much as I