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 If any comment seems submitted just to advertise a website it will not be published.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, 24 August 2017


Before retirement from the bench from time to time I posted on cases where I was in court the participants and all identifying features obscured of course.  Now I am an ordinary member of the public reading of cases countrywide but with, I hope, some knowledge that Joe Public lacks. For example Mr Public is not aware that currently there is no charge of "domestic violence" per se but the usual charge, common assault by beating, is highly aggravated if the offence could be construed as DV. Indeed the offence as such in certain instances can be used to exclude a possible offender from`s usually a male.....own property on the say so of a police officer without any interference from a court. Another aggravating circumstance which also applies to many crimes from common assault to murder is premeditation.  I`ll add another aggravating factor which paradoxically is sometimes argued as mitigating by ignorant solicitors; drunkenness. To top it all the vulnerability of the victim must also be considered. Now read the report on this case

Both as a retired magistrate and as a member of the public I find the sentence absolutely shocking. Even allowing for a guilty plea it seems the bench did not consider that not only did the combination of offences not reach the custody threshold, they warranted only a minimum community punishment. There will be no official looking into this matter. Nobody on that bench will be admonished. The legal advisor will carry on as previously and every reader of local media and the police officers involved will wonder just what kind of justice is available for scum like this offender. There should be an official complaint so that these J.P.s dispense justice according to society`s requirements even although these requirements are based on a tick box exercise called Sentencing Guidelines. They are all we have.


  1. It seems like the assault in this case was strictly verbal, with no battery. Also, I'd stick my neck out and guess that the primary victim (I realise there are others) has realised what a splendid, virile chap he really is, that she didn't really want him arrested, the bizzies have fitted him up and that, and that no victim personal statement was forthcoming.

    If that's the case than I'd consider the situation to be sad rather than shocking. It's not a popular view, but I do believe that women bear some generational responsibility for offering use of their ovaries to men like this. There's only so much that the State can or should do in order to try and rescue them.

  2. "There should be an official complaint so that these J.P.s dispense justice according to society`s requirements even although these requirements are based on a tick box exercise called Sentencing Guidelines." Oh yes, that's just what we need, Guardian and Daily Mail readers determining what sentencing should be.

    Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with what it truly means to be an impartial servant to the rule of law and consider the words of John Adams during the Boston Massacre of 1770:

    "The law is inexorable to the cries and lamentations of the prisoners; on the other it is deaf, deaf as an adder, to the clamors of the populace."