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Robert Noel Reddington
Grand Master
Username: bob_uk

Post Number: 859
Registered: 5-2015
Posted on Friday, 19 February, 2016 - 08:20:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I went to the local magistrates court to support a mate. I noticed an advert for magistrates.

The post is unpaid apart from travel cost and maybe a cup tea and a hob knob it your lucky.

They give you a little bit of legal knowledge. The clerk of the court advises of the legal points and I suppose once you done a few you pick the rest up.

The age is 21 years old to whatever. Traditionally the beaks were professional people like doctors. Today's beak could be a plumber.

A magistrate can only imprison up to 6 months. Any thing more serious goes to crown court. The beak hears the case retires with the clerk of the court and comes to a decision. So mistakes in law are rare.

I like to think that I am a compassionate person who has common sense always remembering there by the grace of god I go and every body I sentence with is a member of the community and even if they go to prison they are going to be released.

First step is to visit the court and sit at the back and learn as much as you can.

Before my mates case came up this women swore at the beak. The beak warned her but she carried on so the beak went back to chambers. The beak came back warned the women about contempt of court and immediate sentence of cell time downstairs. She started again and they took her away. The beak apologised to the court for the interruption and said he would review the situation after lunch. I wanted to stay to see what happened but my mate has MS and I thought it best to get him home. The women probably got the message after a few hours in a cell and stopped swearing in court.
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David Gore
Username: david_gore

Post Number: 1914
Registered: 4-2003
Posted on Friday, 19 February, 2016 - 14:12:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

In NSW, sworn members of the public may be appointed Justices of the Peace who can also serve as Magistrates if one is not available when necessary. This is very uncommon in the towns and cities but may and did occur in small towns in the more remote regions in the middle of the last century.

My father's employment as a bank manager required him to be appointed a Justice of the Peace for witnessing documents associated with loans. The only time he acted as a Magistrate was on a Saturday morning in a small town in the far west of NSW when the local policeman needed a hearing to set bail for a number of locals who had over-imbibed the night before and then exhibited some very disorderly behaviour in the main street after being evicted from the pub before being arrested and locked up.

The first appearance was by the son of one of the bank's best customers who happened to be the ring leader which presented Dad with a dilemma as to whether he could hear the case due to a conflict of interest - after a discussion with the Police, it was decided to suspend this hearing, proceed with the other offenders then reconvene the first case and hand down the same decision as that applied to the other offenders thus transferring responsibility for the final penalty to a visiting Magistrate who would later visit when doing a circuit of the towns without a permanent Magistrate.

Problem solved to the satisfaction of all concerned except the offenders who were later found guilty and ordered to pay compensation for the considerable damage caused by them in lieu of a criminal conviction being recorded against them.

An outcome that was approved and accepted by all involved as being fair, reasonable and one which did not adversely affect their future prospects in life. A bit like the wise country copper giving you a justified kick in the behind when he caught you doing something stupid and not telling your parents unless you did not heed the warning and kept doing stupid things. There are many country boys who stayed on the "straight and narrow" as a consequence of some well-intentioned and well-aimed punishment from the long arm [boot] of the local law when they began to step out of line. No longer accepted in our current society but a comparison in crime levels today and yesteryear makes one think seriously about which approach has been the better deterrent to youth anti-social behaviour.
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Robert Noel Reddington
Grand Master
Username: bob_uk

Post Number: 860
Registered: 5-2015
Posted on Saturday, 20 February, 2016 - 06:39:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I take the view that young people who get in to criminal trouble probably didn't think about the consequences and also that they wouldn't be caught or the crime is not enforced because it's so minor. I don't think ruining their lives helps them or society. Quite the reverse the damaged caused ripples out.
In the UK with have about 80,000 prisoners about a 100 will never leave prison because they are dangerous. The rest will be released sometime. It's important that these people leave prison in good physical and mental health. And setting them up to fail doesn't help either.