Wednesday, May 06, 2009

You Are The Magistrate

This lady has been sentenced to unpaid work. She can only wear high heels (she says). The work involves wearing stout boots. There is no compromise. She is heading towards your court to be resentenced.

Whatever punishment you choose, the tabloids are likely to make fun of you. And bloggers and anonymous commenters will say mean, mean things about you.

Would you replace the Community Payback with :-
  1. A fine
  2. A curfew, with electronic tag
  3. A short prison sentence
  4. Or just ask the Probation Service to find her a job that can be done in four-inch heels
Personally I'd love to impose an extra sentence for her use of the cliché "It's health and safety gone mad", but I'm sure my spoilsport legal adviser would advise me against it.

And yes, I just noticed that I've used the words "high heels", "boots" and "punishment" in close proximity. Apologies to all those guided here by Google in the expectation of something a sight more kinky.


Sarah said...

Make the current sentence more onerous. Can't pick and choose own punishment. Unpaid work (I understand from learned legal advisor) is designed to be punitive.

Stan said...

I agree, Sarah. She's guilty of crimes that need to be punished (criminal damage x 2 and failure to provide a sample). Now she's refusing to comply with an order from the court.

I didn't publish what I thought the right answer was, mostly because as a rookie JP I don't think my opinion deserves to be marked as "the right answer".

But ... since her GP refused to back-up her medical claims, I'd personally be cross if my legal advisor tried to suggest I couldn't now send her into custody for a short period.

I'd say people who won't do their community sentences are on a level people who won't pay their fines, and we sometimes resort to jail in those cases.

AndyC said...

It shouldn't be difficult for the probation service to find work that can be done in 4 inch heels.

Then again, it shouldn't be difficult to get a clear letter from her GP. Unfortunately, many GPs are busy, and a number do not speak English as their first language.

I would adjourn sentencing to get a proper medical report, assuming such a course was open to me.

Otherwise, based on "balance of probability", I think I would ask the Probation Service to try harder.

After all, the community punishment order should be available to all eligible offenders, regardless of disability. Would the probation service have refused a blind offender or one restricted to a wheelchair?

Stan said...

Andy, Tnaks for reminding me of this one - she's been back to court and submitted a medical report that says that due to her crippling herself by wearing heels over a matter of years, it really would hurt her. THe Mags kindly replaced her 80 hour unpaid work with a reassuring hefty 6 months curfew. She is appealing. You can't please some people.