Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Just Another Day In Paradise...

I chaired the remand court last week. As Forrest Gump nearly put it:- "Remand Court is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you gonna get".
Our first few cases fell into the early two-thirds of the 'mad, sad, and bad' category. A man of 27 had to be accompanied by his father as 'appropriate adult'. We adjourned for his lawyer to get some medical opinions as to whether the client was fit to plead. Then came a youngish woman, adorned with the popular scragged-back hairstyle that some cruel souls call a 'council-house facelift'. She had carried on with her crack addiction right up to the birth of her baby, who was thus born addicted. At that point it was brought home to her that she was likely to have her baby taken away, and she stopped the drugs just like that, and she has tested clean up to date. Fingers crossed. We saw a drink-driver who was, in legal terms, unlucky. He had blown 40ucg in breath. The limit is 35, but the police do not prosecute below 40. He had refused a blood test; unwisely as it might have exonerated him. We dealt with a theft from an 84 year-old lady who does not trust banks and kept nearly £10,000 in a box at home, until someone related to her stole it. A man with over 40 convictions for dishonesty and a dozen for failing to answer bail, applied to be bailed for his latest offence. He did not look too surprised when we turned him down. We sentenced a man who had been given a community penalty, and breached it repeatedly. Colleagues increased the order a couple of times, then replaced it with a suspended sentence. He breached that too, so we decided enough was enough and activated the sentence in full. Sorry, Mr. Straw, that's another prisoner you've no room for. Not my problem, Guv.

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