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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.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, 4 February 2016


There are occasions when I just despair at the sentencing of lay benches when  the overriding priority of public protection is either not considered, considered and ignored or not part of the judicial sentencing process. Illegal actions against children are rightly given headlines when sentencing in the crown courts seem to bend over backwards in favour of an offender`s rehabilitation over punishment for the offences.  Only rarely do we read of punishments as a deterrent to others.  Perhaps those who have a tendency to abuse children are beyond deterrence.  

Magistrates are unlikely to deal with physical assaults concerning children but when cash strapped local councils and their Trading Standards departments make the very occasional case against sales of alcohol to under age children s.146 Licensing Act 2003 one would expect a bench to take the matter very seriously indeed. And that degree of seriousness; harm and culpability, should be reflected in the sanctions imposed upon offenders. The starting point is a Band B fine which equals one week`s income with a range from Band A {half a week`s income} to Band C which is 150% of weekly income.  Those notional levels are without considering higher culpability and increased harm to victims.  I commented on the topic in general  here in 2013.  The following year I posted on my personal experience of how these matters are treated in Scotland and last June provided some compelling statistics about the inadequacy of enforcement in England & Wales. 

The sentence dished out to this offender in Oldham for a second similar offence is beyond reason.  A Conditional Discharge and no fine even with the provisos as stated  is an indication of just how fearful J.P.s are of taking their powers to the limit within the law.  Alcohol drinking by children is detrimental on a grand scale to their health and social and mental well being without even considering actions undertaken while under the influence.  The members of that bench and probably others need to wake up.  Repeat after me:- PUBLIC PROTECTION TAKES PRECEDENCE OVER EVERY OTHER CONSIDERATION WHEN CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED.


  1. Look like it's hard to stop this situation. I saw many shops sale alcohol for children

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