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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Magistrates decisions to vary curfews for events such as impending holidays booked or special family functions often incur public criticism for their benevolence. Members of the senior judiciary have, from time to time,  reminded magistrates` benches to be cautious when agreeing to vary the terms of  a curfew order to suit the defendant whatever the reason. At the crown court where there are fewer curfews imposed judges perhaps don`t realise the implications of such decisions.  My experience sitting on appeals at crown court reinforces that impression. However HH Judge Peter Blair QC at Swindon Crown Court decided that an offender`s attendance at Glastonbury justified lifting of a curfew for that purpose.

HH decided that his offence was serious enough to demand a twelve month custody order.  He found, as so often is the case,  that that could be suspended. Surely that was sufficient leniency in such a matter?  One doesn`t need to be a hang and flog `em red faced overweight right wing Tory or  Peter Saunders of abuse victims' charity NAPAC  to find lifting a curfew in such a situation a perverse decision .  One could even be a socially aware blogger.

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