A tale... by raistlin


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raistlin
Frustrating is how I'd categorize my day in Court today. Here is one example:-

An individual was charged with possession of class b drugs (Cannabis). He knew he was about to go to prison for an unrelated and much more serious matter.

He pleaded not guilty and his defence, paid for by the tax payer, amounted to "Prove the stuff you took from me was cannabis". He also refused to accept written statements, insisting upon the attendance of witness(es). He also demanded "proof of continuity", meaning that every individual who had been involved with handling the cannabis had to attend and give evidence as to their involvement, from the arresting officer, through to the forensic scientist. We heard that there were a total of eleven witnesses required to attend.

The trial was set for today and, as he was lead into the dock, now being a serving prisoner, his advocate asked the Court to put the charge to him again, at which point he pleaded guilty.

The prosecution informed the Court that the costs incurred by the CPS in bringing a forensic scientist up from London to give evidence and the cost of the analysis plus witness attendance costs amounted to £3350.

The defendant found this hugely amusing and said "Don't forget my 10% sentence discount".

He is, at the moment serving a four year sentence so the sentence we handed down, of six weeks, would make no difference as it would begin from today.

We were unable to order costs as he was a serving prisoner without "substantial means".

After he was taken down, his advocate admitted to a feeling of revulsion at having to deal with the defendant and told us that when he questioned the defendant's decision to plead guilty was told something to the effect that all he wanted to do was to *uck up the system and make it as costly as possible and that he had never had the slightest intention of going through a trial.

Some days are not so good :(
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 01 Aug 2013, 16:14 #1 

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Borg Warner
What an absolute total waste....

Gary M.

Posted 01 Aug 2013, 17:13 #2 


Jumper
You can’t help thinking there should be a facility under which in such cases either the initial hearing or the sentence is deferred until the defendant has completed any other penalty. They could then be recalled and any ’outstanding matters’, such as early release in recognition of a sincere guilty plea, taken into account.

Posted 02 Aug 2013, 11:28 #3 


Bolin
Why couldn't the sentence be added onto the end of the one he is curently serving?

I don't understand the concept of serving sentences concurrently i.e. two at once, as prison is based on time I suposse that their sentence isn't made twice as tough in other ways to compensate for this?

I'll admit I have no idea how any of this is supposed to work.

Posted 04 Aug 2013, 23:26 #4 

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raistlin
Bolin wrote:Why couldn't the sentence be added onto the end of the one he is curently serving?


A sentence starts when it is handed down. By the same token we are often asked to defer the start of a custodial sentence to allow a pre-booked holiday to be taken but that doesn't happen either.
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

Click the image to go to Nano-Meet Website
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Posted 05 Aug 2013, 07:23 #5 


Bolin
Would there be a case for changing the system so that sentences can be deferred and started when a current one ends? Otherwise it seems to me that justice isn't fully being handed out if the total number of years sentenced doesn't match with what is actually served? (I'm not making any comment about early release etc here).

Posted 09 Aug 2013, 19:26 #6 

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raistlin
Bolin wrote:Would there be a case for changing the system so that sentences can be deferred and started when a current one ends? Otherwise it seems to me that justice isn't fully being handed out if the total number of years sentenced doesn't match with what is actually served? (I'm not making any comment about early release etc here).


Not for me to say but certainly a subject worthy of discussion :)
Paul

Cogito ergo sum... maybe?

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Posted 09 Aug 2013, 19:53 #7 


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