Law and order


Magistrates Court
Illus. By Rob Davies
Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court

One of the County's magistrates submitted a diary. These are the entries relating to his magisterial work.

10.00am Briefing session with two magistrates colleagues rota'd to sit on the bench this day, and the magistrates clerk - discuss types of cases being brought before us. Warned of possible trial and therefore likely length of day's hearing. Court starts with 3 magistrates, clerk to the justices, 1 Crown Prosecution Service Solicitor and 4 separate defence solicitors including the duty solicitor whose role it is to give advice (when requested) to any unrepresented defendant.
13.15pm Good news that the trial is not to go ahead due to a late change of plea by the defendant (a motoring offence). Cases dealt with included many motoring matters (over 50% of day's business), assaults occasioning actual bodily harm, thefts, and criminal damage. One defendant charged with indecent assault was remanded into custody of the police (not prison) for further questioning about additional offences. That defendant will be committed to Crown Court (due to seriousness of the charges) for trial (not guilty pleas having been entered).
14.15pm Court resumes with the case that had been listed for trial. Now a guilty plea and a lengthy submission of mitigation by the defendant solicitor. This and most of the day's convictions are given fines, penalty points on driver's licences, disqualification from driving in cases of drunken driving, and community punishment orders; assault cases (for which, in addition, compensation of £900 to the victim was awarded).