Musings and Snippets from a recently retired JP. I served for 31 years, mostly in west London. I was Chairman of my Bench for some years, and a member of the National Bench Chairmen's Forum All cases are based on real ones, but anonymised and composited. All opinions are those of one or more individuals. JPs swear to enforce the law of the land, whether or not they approve of it. Nothing on here constitutes legal advice.
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
For some time now it has been rare to see a charge of Actual Bodily Harm, as the CPS has often opted to charge even nasty assaults as Common Assault, which avoids the cost and inconvenience of the defendant opting for a jury trial, albeit the maximum sentence available is then six months. Unusually we saw a couple of separate up-tariff assaults yesterday, one a Section 18 GBH with intent, the other a Section 20. Perhaps it was coincidence, or perhaps the CPS are having a rethink about under-charging.
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And I would love to know how they think that being in possession of 16 wraps of cannabis is simple possession and not with intent to supply?ReplyDelete
Do you know the full circumstances of the arrest? No, you don't.ReplyDelete
Show me the "mens rea" for intent to supply. 16 bags is sweet FA especially if the person arrested is a heavy smoker. If it's all the same "variety" then why is it not unreasonable to assume that is how it was supplied to the arrestee? Beyond all reasonable doubt... If their dealer sells only in 1/8oz then 16 x 1/8 is only 2oz. Hardly crime of the century.
A more salient issue is why is cannabis illegal? Alcohol and tobacco are both more harmful. Legalise and tax, instead of running scared of the prudish American empire.ReplyDelete
By contrast to Bystander's experience, we still see plenty of ABH and GBH charging in our courts, so perhaps it's a local thing with the CPS?ReplyDelete
The reason for undercharging serious assaults is no doubt to keep matters away from the Crown Court. This is underlined by the fact that ABH and S20 GBH are still seen in the Youth Court, as these cannot be "grave crimed" as they carry only a maximum of 5 years. They therefore stay in the lower court, where incidentally the maximum sentence is 2 years custody in the form of a Detention and Training OrderReplyDelete