Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I Knew It Would Happen If I Waited Long Enough

More than two decades ago I was inspired to apply to join the Bench by, among other things, a report in the local paper of a man being charged with being drunk in charge of a bicycle. "That's for me" I thought, and the rest is history.

Today I was overjoyed to find that selfsame charge on my daily case list.

Not only that, but Case no 1 was a man who shares my surname and my son's first name who had been up to some misdeeds.

These things all help to keep up our interest.

Oh yes, and during an enforced twenty-minute hiatus while we sat out in the retiring room I realised, after looking at some old portraits of distinguished elderly gentlemen that decorate the wall that my court's Justices' Clerks were members of the same local family for well over a hundred years, grandfather to father to son.

HMCTS wouldn't like that.


  1. As I approach my enforced retirement, I remember what prompted me to join up. I was a reporter (many years ago) for the Hendon Times and regularly covered the MC in our area. I was appalled one day to witness a JP bully into tears a middle-aged woman of good character who had pinched some small item from a shop. Even to this 19-year-old she was going through a difficult time of life. I remained a journalist for 40 years, covering politics and conflict around the world, and this memory shot to the forefront of my mind when I was looking for something to do after retirement. I thought I could contribute something more worthwhile than that.

  2. What was the outcome for this particular chap?

  3. Nowadays they would have to let daughters join the nepotism party too!

  4. [Off topic] Recognize pre-moderation was needed because of: i) wallies a propos nothing much, ii) the 'waspish' warped, and iii) robotic spam invasions etc. Anyone else think moderation has reduced the liveliness here ? Was that decision pre-robot checking ? Is there any scope to review ?

  5. I was due to sit on a trial a few days ago that was criminal damage, to some photos. The victim accepted she and the defendant had both been drinking and she claimed that he had torn up some photos that belonged to her. Several months later they both, perhaps unusually, arrived for a 10.00 start. We had another trial first and they got on quite late in the afternoon. "Right" I say, "let's make a start".

    There were three witnesses due to give evidence. The defendant, the victim and the arresting officer. Up pops the prosecutor to say that the victim has that day confirmed that the destroyed photos belonged to the defendant, as he had claimed all along. What a waste of time and money.

  6. She wasn't a victim, then, was she? We must get out of the habit of using the v-word so freely. "Complainant" is accurate, neutral, and respects the presumption of innocence.


Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.