Thursday, June 15, 2017

So. Farewell then Bystander...



We're very sorry to say that Bystander (real name Richard Bristow) died at Stoke Mandeville on June 4, aged 70. He was a Justice of the Peace at Uxbridge from 1985 to 2016,  and was the first chairman of the West London Local Justice Area. He'll be sadly missed by family and friends, but not by the villains of Uxbridge, Ealing and Hounslow.  

He was fond of quoting this passage from the Seven Ages of Man speech:

And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part.

33 comments:

  1. So sorry to hear this. I learned a huge amount and gained a different perspective on the workings of the law and justice from reading his blog.

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  2. Very sad to hear this> I have been reading this blog for a decade or more. Thoughts are with his family.

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  3. Oh, I'm very sorry to hear that. Richard had a terrific blog, always interesting and informative.

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  4. What terrible news RIP Richard thinking of his family

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  5. I am sorry to hear of Bystander's death. I have been reading this blog for many years, and whilst not always agreeing with the views expressed, never failed to find Bystander's posts thought-provoking. In my opinion, he did a great service to we lay-people by offering an insight into a part of modern life which is closed to many.

    Rest in Peace, Bystander.

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  6. Very sorry to hear this, condolences to his family.

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  7. So shocked and sorry to hear this. I'd been reading his blog for years, he always seemed witty and wise. Condolences to his friends and family.

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  8. That's sad news. :( I'm a better person for this blog. My best wishes to Bystander's family.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear that. My condolences to his family and friends. I'm sure he would have appreciated a tribute in the style of E. J. Thribb.

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  10. RIP to the man who many years ago inspired me to become a magistrate.

    And my condolences to his family and friends, who have lost (on the basis of this blog) someone who was wise, kind and insightful.

    RIP, Richard.

    ML

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  11. As a regular reader of this blog, I have to say we are all poorer for his loss. He brought an intelligent, and at time humorous, eye to proceedings in the legal system and his reflections on how the law deals with a range of subjects was an eye-opener to a member of the general public like me. He will be missed.

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  12. So sad to hear the news. I have followed this blog with avid interest from day one. Rest in peace.

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  13. Very sad news. I greatly enjoyed his blog for many years. Condolences to his friends and family.

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  14. RIP Bystander - your blog was a source of information and enlightenment to many. Thank you.

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  15. To the Bystander’s family, friends, colleagues and readers.
    My deep commiserations on your loss. Words on the web are, in such circumstance, a nearly insignificant footnote to your loss. I never met “Your Worship” or stood in his court but I have a law enforcement background and have followed his musings for many years.

    Today I heard of the loss of a voice I admired.
    A voice who spoke reason.
    A voice who spoke up against the injustice of one size fits all justice, injustice in hardness AND injustice in softness.
    A voice who understood that service to his community was more than important, it was vital.
    A voice that understood that community actually meant community. A shared sense of belonging and being, not an ever expanding administrative, budgetary thesis.

    To Richard’s family, friends and colleagues, and to me; Let’s try and be as good as Bystander was.

    PS Tried to get a verified login but failed.

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  16. Very sorry to hear this. RIP.

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  17. I met him when we were both involved with the setting up of the NBCF (National Bench Chairmen's Forum.) I was elected by other Bench Chairmen to get the NBCF off the ground for the SE Region. I didn't know him very well but on the few occasions that we came into contact my memory of him was that he was a thoroughly nice chap. I think his was the original JP blog and he encouraged both those with a knowledge of the Criminal Justice System as well as those that just came across it by chance. My condolences to his family. RIP Richard.

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  18. Oh, crikey. I've been enjoying Bystander's observations and musings for a couple of years and have rarely been disappointed. Until now. Sincere condolences to his friends and family.

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  19. I am so very sad. His has been a blog I have regularly read in the past. I have often thought that if I had to be brought up in front of a magistrate I hoped it was him. He seemed human and understanding of the frailties of the average person.

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  20. So sorry to hear this. His contribution to increasing the understanding of the justice system was immense. As a JP I have been reading the blog for more years than I can remember. In sympathy David

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  21. Didn't always agree with him, but he was always on my blogroll, and he's very much a loss to the world of bloggers and the world of the justice system.

    Very sad.

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  22. Sad. Goodbye.

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  23. I am very sorry to learn of Bystander's passing - having read his posts since probably around 2005, together with those of Brian Kellet - Random Acts Of Reality...

    I didn't always agree with Bystander, but I think we should all recognise everything he did to try and shine a little light onto the goings on in our courts, the issues faced by everyone touched by the criminal justice system, and those occasional moments of hilarity...

    The world as they say was a little brighter for having him in it.

    Martin Milan.
    aka Madaxeman.

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  24. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Bystander brought the dilemmas of lay magistrates to us all in a wonderful way, enhancing knowledge of the courts and the human dramas therein. He will be greatly missed, but thank you for your blog.

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  25. I am so sad to read this news as I have followed this blog for several years and always found it informative and entertaining. A few years ago I contacted Bystander about a court case my granddaughter was facing and he graciously offered me some very useful advice. I was really grateful. He seemed like a really nice and genuine bloke. RIP Bystander.

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  26. God speed, good Sir.

    I will miss you.

    Heaven be your road.

    Alice. x

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  27. Very sad to hear this news. Condolences to his family and all who knew him.

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  28. Its strange how having never met Bystander and not knowing who he was, one still feels a strange sense of loss upon hearing of his passing. I have been following and thoroughly enjoying The Magistrates Blog for over a decade and feel quite sad that there will be no more musings and snippets.

    Rest in Piece, Richard. Thanks for the blog.

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  29. Sincere condolences to his family. His service was appreciated and his blog was educational.

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  30. Just caught up with this very sad news. It was reading this blog and that of Inspector Gadget that inspired me to dip my toe into the blogging waters. I can still recall the excitement when my early effort attracted its first 100 hits as a result of Bystander very graciously giving it a mention. Throughout my career as a Probation Officer I've always enjoyed working closely with magistrates and I shall be forever grateful for his blog and the encouragement it gave to other professionals to speak up about their professional experiences. His blog will be much missed. Sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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