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Police: COVID-19 PROSECUTION// THE FINAL CHAPTER

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Last Friday April 3rd I told the story of Marie Dinou who found unwanted fame as the first person found guilty of contravening the new regulations about movement in this era of virus contagion. Having admitted that she was convicted under "wrong legislation" her conviction was quashed.  British Transport Police has apologised but added that she refused to speak to its officers when she was stopped "loitering between platforms". The CPS has been silent. Apparently Ms Dinou did not speak to anyone at the police station, failed to confirm her identity at court, failed to enter a plea and did not speak to a solicitor assigned to represent her. The District Judge was a certain Sarah-Jane Griffiths who was called to the Bar (L) in 1998 and admitted as a Solicitor in 2010. She was appointed as a Fee-paid Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber (Social Security and Child Support) in 2013. Judge Griffiths  concluded that the defendant was being "obstructive".It seems that the judge`s inquiries into...

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Police: A DARK ROAD AHEAD

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Restrictions on movement
6.—(1) During the emergency period, no person may leave the place where they are living
without reasonable excuse.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reasonable excuse includes the need—
(a) to obtain basic necessities, including food and medical supplies for those in the same
household (including any pets or animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons and
supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the
household of a vulnerable person, or to obtain money, including from any business listed
in Part 3 of Schedule 2;
(b) to take exercise either alone or with other members of their household;
(c) to seek medical assistance, including to access any of the services referred to in paragraph
37 or 38 of Schedule 2;
(d) to provide care or assistance, including relevant personal care within the meaning of
paragraph 7(3B) of Schedule 4 to the Safeguarding of Vulnerable Groups Act 2006(a), to
a vulnerable person, or to provide emergency assistance;
(e) to donate blood;
(f) to travel...

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Police: COVID-19 LOCKDOWN; MAGISTRATES` HEALTH OR DUTIES?

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Today and for the foreseeable future magistrates of whom around 85%  are over 50 years old and over half are more than 60 will be rechecking their rotas and wondering whether they should be thinking of their own health and that of their families or whether the social good and obligation  of appearing at court has priority.  Considering all are volunteers it is impossible not to assume that many benches will consist of two magistrates and not the usual three for the next few months.  

Whilst I was active video links were in operation mainly for bail hearings for prisoners on remand.  The expansion of video links has been one of the major initiatives of HMCTS in its "modernisation" programme and has been ruthlessly promulgated by its press relations factory deep in the bowels of Petty France.  It seems, however, that such links are hopelessly bedevilled by system failure often at police stations so demonstrating the inability of defendants to be dealt with by the technology on first appearance.  The result...

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Police: CORONA VIRUS`S LUCKY 4%

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Having self isolated for the last week or so and having been retired from the bench for over five years my intimate knowledge of the magistrates courts is at best third hand or at worst via Twitter.  Having now laid my ignorance firmly on the line please allow me to voice a couple of thoughts that seem to require others for the answers.  

Even allowing for the closure of some courts the notification of which is a resounding silence from HMCTS the situation must be untenable for magistrates of whom around 85%  are over 50 years old and over half are more than 60.  Considering all are volunteers it is impossible not to assume that many benches will consist of two magistrates and not the usual three.  Each JP will have considered the health of those with whom s/he is in daily contact such consideration overriding  any obligation to perform their allotted duties. In such circumstances I fail to see that the single justice procedure, of which I have no personal experience its implementation being some time after my retirement, will not...

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Police: TO JP OR NOT JP: THAT IS THE QUESTION

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace

Post-nominal letters also called post-nominal initials, post-nominal titles or designatory letters, are letters placed after a person's name to indicate that the individual holds a position, academic degree, accreditation, office, military decoration, or honour, or is a member of a religious institute or fraternity.

The Lord Chancellor’s Directions to Advisory Committees from which I have copied the following would seem to make the situation re use of said letters perfectly clear:-

"Magistrates
The initials JP may be used on private and business letterheads etc in the same way as academic or professional qualifications. But they should not be used for the furtherance of trade, professional, business or political interests".

I know of at least one magistrate who is located in the West Midlands who flights that direction with impunity despite the powers that be knowing full well of her disregard for the directive. Perhaps there is an underlying cadre within upper judicialdom  which has given the nod to some and not to...

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Police: DESCENT INTO AUTHORITARIANISM: AN EARLY WARNING

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace




This post is about taking control.  I posted on 14th June 2018 that the MOJ were seeking to appoint a team of "leadership magistrates". I posted on  23rd July 2018 that the identities of those magistrates named above who had been appointed had been kept secret. Shortly after that July post and ministerial procrastination their names were published.  Around the same time the lobbying organisation Transform Justice had made similar comments about the secrecy with which these people had been appointed and the  iniquity of their identities being withheld. And now finally under the camouflage of these government lackeys we have, this week,  the future of the magistracy laid out before us by the Lord Chief Justice.  For ease of use I have copied the document below although the format has had to  be altered. The highlights are mine. 

 Foreword by the 
Lord Chief Justice


The Magistracy is at the core of the judicial system. It has 
been at the forefront of the delivery of justice across England 
and Wales for over 650...

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Police: 5 YEARS RETIRED

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
Tomorrow, the ides of March, is forever noted in history as the day when Julius Caesar met his bloody end. Tomorrow, as in the last five years, will mark the anniversary of my final sitting as a magistrate. I hadn`t quite reached my sell by date but owing to the impending imposition of having to pronounce to all convicted offenders  the terms of the iniquitous Criminal Courts Charge dreamed up by that ministerial court jester failing Grayling I had decided to exit stage left a month or two prematurely.  

Currently there are appeals in the media from the MOJ; "anyone can become a magistrate": as trite a slogan as the weasels in the Petty France basement have yet conceived. This is how a society beset with anxieties that it does not appear to be sufficiently diverse at work, rest or play seeks to anoint itself with a self righteous shower of  the holy oil of equality.  I was appointed in my mid fifties when my secure financial position allowed me to offer a minimum of around two weeks full time on the bench per annum.  It wasn`t long before I...

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Police: OUTSOURCING BY THE CPS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
I don`t remember when I first heard the term "outsourcing" but there are few people now who don`t have a fair notion of what it means.  Although historians will say that the term was first coined in the 1800s during the industrial revolution it was in the 1970s apparently that the term became commonplace.  Some of the advantages of outsourcing are said to be that companies don't have to hire more employees. When outsourced labour is used payment can be made as a self employed contractor thus avoiding many rules applying to an employed workforce and reducing direct employment costs. A price many companies are willing to pay is the lack of control over outsourced workers.  A common description now applied to such workers is that they are employed on zero hour  contracts.  Without them many web based organisations could not exist.  Food and other delivery services and personal taxi services are obvious examples of enterprises which were unimaginable even ten years ago and unobtainable unless one was exceptionally wealthy. However twenty...

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Police: COPY OF TODAY`S GOVT. E MAIL RE KNIFE & BLADED WEAPON POSSESSION

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT RECEIVE GOVERNMENT E  MAILS BELOW IS THE BEST AVAILABLE COPY OF THAT PUBLISHED TODAY ON SENTENCING FOR  KNIFE AND BLADED WEAPON POSSESSION. UNFORTUNATELY CERTAIN FEATURES DO NOT COPY eg TABLES AND THE FORMAT IS NOT AS THE ORIGINAL

For any feedback related to the content of this publication, please let us know at [email protected]
Published 12 March 2020
Knife and Offensive Weapon Sentencing Statistics, England and Wales – 2019
Main points
The number of knife and offensive weapon offences dealt with by the Criminal Justice System (CJS) has been increasing since 2014.
In 2019 nearly 22,300 knife and offensive weapon offences were formally dealt with by the CJS, an increase of 3% since 2018. The increase has been driven by possession of an article with a blade or point offences.
The proportion of offenders receiving an immediate custodial sentence for a knife and offensive weapon offence has remained stable for the last three years at around 38%.
Between...

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Police: EQUAL TREATMENT FOR PENIS AND VAGINA POSSESSORS

Written by RSS Poster The Justice of the Peace
There is a well known adage "Work expands to fill the time available to complete the task" commonly known as  Parkinson`s Law; a proverb coined by its originator   C. Northcote Parkinson.  As a magistrate its application  first became noticeable to me when the first edition of Sentencing Guidelines was published on  13 June 2011. It dealt only with assault and had been in gestation for years.  The Sentencing Council has published four definitive guidelines in the last two years.  In less than a decade from a standing start that Council has revolutionised the government`s thinking on sentencing and imposed more or less a tick box method for all judges and magistrates to follow.  Woe betide any who do not provide acceptable reasons if they deviate from said guidelines. The latest publication is  a new edition of the Equal Treatment Bench Book published today. Ostensibly like its predecessors this is supposed to ensure that nobody is affected by any prejudice consciously or unconsciously held by sentencers. Aside...

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Latest The Justice Of The Peace Stories

COVID-19 PROSECUTION// THE FINAL CHAPTER
A DARK ROAD AHEAD
COVID-19 LOCKDOWN; MAGISTRATES` HEALTH OR DUTIES?
CORONA VIRUS`S LUCKY 4%
TO JP OR NOT JP: THAT IS THE QUESTION

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