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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


On July 29th I posted on the Police Federation of Northern Ireland`s demand for mandatory custodial sentences for those convicted of assault on their members.  The problem is  the definition of what action(s) constitute(s) an assault.  Some definitions are:-

This is any act by which a person intentionally or recklessly causes another to apprehend immediate unlawful violence. Such an act must be with the intent being calculated in that persons mind to cause apprehension or fear in the mind of the victim. Therefore, where there is no intent, there will be not be an assault, UNLESS, that the person who assaulted another, ( and it was conclusive by way of evidence), that the person was indeed reckless as to the other person would in all probability have indeed apprehended that immediate unlawful violence would be used.

 An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in either criminal and/or civil liability. Generally, the common law definition is the same in criminal and tort law.

A further  refined legal analysis of assault can be found here.  

The fact is that every J.P. and criminal  lawyer knows that police officers in the main will seek every opportunity to bring a common assault charge against an individual with whom they are in hot verbal and non violent exchanges when they are frustrated that they cannot impose their will.  Obstruction of a police officer in the course of his duty is another all embracing favourite when commands legitimate or as is often the case illegitimate are not obeyed. 

Protection of police officers in the course of their duty is a very easy bandwagon for an MP of only one year`s seniority  to pursue.  And Holly Lynch appears to be one of that ilk.  This type of populist appeal by Labour is in line with its Corbynistic policy of rule by the mob. It should be resisted in general and the proposed madatory jail for police assault  in particular notwithstanding an overriding policy of reducing the prison population.

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