Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A New One On Me

We had a case of Outraging Public Decency in the other day - not an everyday occurrence in my court. A rather unsavoury looking woman of 22 admitted having full-on sex with a man on public transport, in full view of other passengers at eight in the morning. For some reason the man concerned had been dealt with a couple of weeks ago, so it seemed fair to give her the same sentence.

There is no specific guideline for this so we took a cue from that for Sexual Activity in a Public Lavatory, namely a fine. She had spent two days in custody, so we deemed the fine and surcharge served.


  1. I'd have thought a bus was more "public" than a public toilet, even leaving aside the question of whether it was in a cubicle or not!

  2. Well, that seems to be justice--something that is sadly disappearing quicker than a rat up a drainpipe.

    Well done!

  3. And yet a public act of masturbation could land you inside.

    (Odd since it involves half the number of people).

    1. but maybe not as much effort!

  4. 8am?
    Uncle Fred and Aunty Mabel
    Fainted at the breakfast table.
    This should be sufficient warning:
    Never do it in the morning.

  5. Same crime committed this week would have left her with £150 court charge which almost certainly cannot be time-served on conviction. Will we see fewer penalties being dealt in this way from now on? I'm surmising part of the reason for deeming a financial penalty served by time held in custody is recognising the fine is unlikely to be paid by someone with no means, or as a matter of administrative practicality (not worth the cost of collection) or to draw a line under the affair; none of these will now be effective since the court charge will always be left over.

    Hope you told her that from now on a room in a hotel will definitely be cheaper!

  6. Power to remit the charge
    A magistrates’ court may remit the whole or part of a charge ordered to be paid by a person but it may remit the charge only if:
    (a) it is satisfied that the person has taken all reasonable steps to pay it, having regard to the person’s personal circumstances, or
    (b) it is satisfied that collection and enforcement of the charge is impracticable, POA 1985 s.21E.
    Charge may not be remitted It may not remit the charge at a time when the person is detained in prison.
    It may not remit the charge unless each of following has expired—
    (a) a specified period beginning with the day on which an order under section 21A was last made in respect of the person;
    (b) a specified period beginning with the day on which the person was last convicted of an offence;
    (c) where relevant, a specified period beginning with the day on which the person was last released from prison, POA 1985 s.21E.
    The period specified is:
    (a) where the person liable to pay the charge has made the application to a magistrates’ court to remit the charge, two years;
    (b) in any other case, 12 months, SI 2015/796 reg.4.
    Defaulters Where a court remits a charge under section 21A after an order has been made under section 300(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (power to impose unpaid work requirement etc on fine defaulter) for default in paying the charge (or the charge and other amounts), the court must:
    (a) reduce the total number of hours or days to which the order relates by the same proportion as the amount remitted bears to the total amount in respect of which the order was made, or
    (b) if the total number of hours or days would be reduced to nil under paragraph (a), revoke the order, POA 1985 s.21E.

    1. We agree, leaving aside the issue of whether time-served is the same as remitting the penalty. More interesting is whether courts will change their practice on ordering time-served, given that it can no longer serve an effective purpose - in most cases more than half the penalty will always remain.

  7. Her male partner should have been punished for having an offensive person on his weapon!

  8. So I suppose it might be said that they got off cheaply.

    And when the bus reached its destination, they got off.


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