Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How Balanced Are The Scales of Justice in UK Courts

This posting is rather long and I apologise in advance for this, however I would ask that time is taken to read it, and I would appreciate comment and feedback on this issue. I am not asking for this on a personal basis (although I am relating a personal experience) but I feel strongly that this posting might well be highlighting a far reaching problem, that may have dire consequences not just for those from minority groups, but also for any defendant, appearing before a Magistrates Bench on any day, in any town in UK.

If you come from an Ethnic Minority group, you are more likely to be stopped by the Police, you are more likely to be arrested and appear in Court, and as a result you are more likely than non minority defendants to receive a custodial sentence. What is not always so readily publicised is that as a member of a minority group you are also far more likely to be the victim of crime. Minorities are greatly under represented within the Criminal Justice System. I became increasingly aware of the disproportionate numbers of those from minority groups within the prison population; I was also becoming aware that it appeared that the Travelling Community seemed to be sent to prison very readily. I wondered if this was due to the transient nature of our lifestyle. I wondered if with some understanding this might somehow in the fullness of time be improved.

With all of the above in mind and after much thought, I applied to become a Magistrate, I felt I had a great deal to offer, and was able to have an insight and understanding of many different aspects of life, due to my quite diverse life experiences.

I passed through each stage of the interview process; having always answered the questions asked of me as honestly as possible, I also passed the checks that are made to make sure I was of good character. It’s quite a long drawn out process but after all checks and interviews were complete I was duly appointed. The aim these days is for a diverse Bench and on face value that is exactly what you appear to get. The training included and afternoon on “Diversity” which to all present, seemed a little OTT, and on times PC gone crazy, but ok, at least the effort was there. All in all the training was impressive.

In September of 2007, I had cause to telephone the Police, my 13 year old daughter had contacted me from school during the lunch break absolutely petrified. She had been the victim of an ongoing bullying campaign that was particularly nasty; it had been going on for 2 years by this time. The gang involved were 2 years older than her, and had terrorised her to the point where her health and education were suffering (she had missed almost a years school before returning in the September). The school had consistently failed to take any action at all, even though 1 gang member had been prosecuted the September previous. My daughter had been subjected to beatings, she had been spat on, cigarettes had been stubbed out in her hair, she had been verbally abused threatened, and thrown into the traffic on a very busy road outside of her school amid a barrage of threats, racist abuse and foul language. On the day in Question 20th September 2007, my daughter had been told by a key member of this gang that she was going to be subject to a beating, possibly during the lunch break, failing that definitely on her way home. Neither the Head Teacher nor the head of year would make themselves available to speak to me, I told the school that in that case I would have to involve the Police.

The Police made it clear that they did not intend to intervene. A very rude and abrasive female officer informed that they were “not body guards”. I asked to speak to her Inspector and when he phoned me back he was equally unhelpful saying there was “Policy in place” which meant the school must deal with this, He could not tell any more about the Policy other than that he believed it existed. I explained that the school were refusing to assist, and therefore the Police must act, he refused saying there was nothing he could or would do. I requested that at the very least Harassment Orders be issued in the hope this would afford my daughter some protection, and if this failed further action could be taken, The Inspector refused saying he could not do that. I explained yes he could I had recently read the Law in relation to this, he jibed at me and asked if I read it on the internet? I explained that I was in fact a Magistrate and had this information from my “Bench Book” so it was most definitely accurate. I also brought to his attention past failings on the part of his Officers, these were personal matters in reference to my disabled son who had been attacked more than one occassion, blunders by his officers meant the perpetrators had escaped prosecution. My daughter had been sexually assaulted at her place of work ( McDonalds), refusal by Officers to collect CCTV footage meant that her assailant escaped . On one occassion an Officer had made mocking comments, and later lied by denying them when I asked his Inspector to intervene. These "personal" experiences were conveniently recorded as matters that had arisen in Court, I had apparently stated that I had heard the Police "fibbing" in Court all the time. This remark was not made, and indeed could be proven to have been very highly unlikely to have been made in my capacity as a Magistrate, but the personal incidents to which I refered would be a matter of record.
I was very angry, and told him that I would contact the Police HQ the following day and speak to the Chief Constable.

The Following day after contact with the Chief Constables Office I had a phone call from a Detective Superintendent. He was equally unhelpful, making various excuses as to just why Harassment warnings could not be issued, The gang in question were motivated by a certain family within the locality, and I was questioning as to why this family appeared untouchable, No mention was made in relation to Police Informants by me, but I was immediately subjected to a rant as to how they were not informants. One excuse was that “these people do not respond to the law”, ( I will leave the reader to muse and draw their own conclusion on this comment ) . The top and tail of it was that he was adamant that Harassment Warnings could not be issued in these circumstances, I was equally adamant that they could, and forcibly telling him that I had read the criteria in a Bench book, and that they could be, and should be and that I would not accept his refusal, I told him it was my intention to revert back to the Chief Constable.

Shortly afterwards a Sergeant phoned he called to our home, took a statement from my daughter, and miracle of miracles the Harassment Orders were Issued that evening. The Orders were issued on the gang leader, her sister and the mother.

Small incidents continued, and were reported, and then I was told by a neighbour of this family that the Harassment Orders were withdrawn. I tried on numerous occasions to contact the Inspector (who had by now been promoted to Detective Inspector). Although messages were left, he never returned my calls.

On 19th October 2007, my daughter went out early evening with some friends, she was due home by 8.30, when she had not returned by 10 my husband telephoned me ( I was away due to Gipsy Kings Tour), we were unsure what to do, and decided to give it another hour and see what transpired my husband called me back at 10.45, my daughter had just returned, in a highly distressed state, a drunken adult male from this family had held her against her will, for part of the time he had his fist in her face issuing threats, only releasing her when the male with him started to get windy about it all, the Police were notified immediately and promised to call the following day.( At the time of writing this, 27th February 2008, and despite reminders the Police still have not called in relation to this).

On October 23rd 2007, I was in London the Detective Inspector phoned ( mobile phone) I asked about the Harassment warnings, he told me they might be removed, the reason he gave was that the family concerned “objected to having them issued against them” I was astounded, The Inspector assured me he would speak to me about this on my return home, I informed him about my daughter being detained and threatened a few days before, he assured me he would follow this up.

As I had heard no more on either the status of the harassment Warnings, or what was to be done in relation to my daughter being detained against her will and threatened, I began to make calls to chase matters up This began on 7th November 2007, my daughter had again been threatened at school, and I was getting worried once more for her safety. I was assured by a Sergeant, that he had left a message for the Inspector to contact me urgently, I got no response so over the next week I left several messages, but still got no response. on 20th November 2007, and by now totally fed up. I was pondering on the position;
were this gang, led by this family untouchables?..they most certainly appeared to be.
If they were not untouchables as the Police assured me they were not, then why was my daughter not being protected by the law? ..if they were not untouchables….then was it then the case that my daughter was “fair game”? ……what could make my child fair game ? She seemed average enough..dressed like all the other kids…liked all the same music….There was only one thing that set my child apart…her accent and/or her origins.

I contacted the Office of the Chief Constable, I spoke to the Assistant Chiefs P.A, she told me she would leave a message and someone would get right back to me, nothing happened and I phoned again the following day (21st) she was surprised I had received no contact and told me she would get another message across there and then, The following day there was still no response, I tried to speak to the PA again on the Friday (23rd) but she was not in her office.

On 23rd November 2007, a letter of complaint was sent to the Bench about my conduct during telephone conversations, on 20th and 21st September 2007, these conversations were with the original female officer , 2 Sergants (with whom I never spoke) and the Inspector on 20th September, and with the Superintendent on 21st September 2007. It was felt that my conduct was one of expressing prejudice against the Police by my comments, thus meaning I could not be impartial if sitting in Court, and also that I abused my position, by telling Officers that I knew it was indeed Harassment because I was a Magistrate and I had seen the relevant criteria for Harassment in my Bench book. So, throughout the remainder of September, the whole of October, and the most part of November, some 2 months and 2 days in total, nobody felt inspired to complain, yet now on 23rd November, 3 days after I had again began to ask questions and direct them via the Chief Constables Office, suddenly I was a threat to the Justice system!

The complaint had come from The Inspector ( now Detective Inspector), The Superintendent, the first Officer I spoke to, who had been rude to me and 2 Sergeants, both of whom were named, who claimed to have been concerned by my conduct when they spoke to me , I knew without doubt that I had not spoken to these 2, the Police log later proved that I had not !

I was told I could not sit in Court until this matter resolved, I was also told there would be a hearing before a Panel of Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee for the area, I was allowed to take some one with me for moral support, and asked what days I would be available, I said that the person I wanted to go with me could go any day at all , except for a Wednesday. A hearing date was set for 30th January 2008 ..a Wednesday..apologies were made for the fact it was a Wednesday . This date was arranged in early/mid December; it seemed that it must be a Wednesday, as some “key” people needed it to be a Wednesday. To say I was beginning to feel “stitched up” is an understatement!

The Inspector and Superintendent submitted Statements, both of which were utter fabrications of the truth. The Superintendent claimed that I had phoned him, when in fact he had phoned me, a small point maybe, but important, as he is a Professional Officer who should be used to recording facts accurately. The tone of his statement was one of me using my position as a Magistrate to gain favour, which was totally wrong, I was phoning as a mother, I was stating I was also a Magistrate to try to make him listen to me, because I was correct, it was harassment, and he could and should take action, which of course he was forced to do. So clearly I was correct, I should not have had to go to such lengths of phoning the Chief Constable and quoting the law to get the help my daughter was entitled to ..”by law”.

I had attended the hearing alone, I had no choice, I was shocked that after hearing evidence from the Inspector,which took about 20 minutes at most, a break was decided upon while we waited for the Superintendent to arrive from the Police Station. The Panel were made up of 3 Magistrates who were from another Bench and whom I did not know . My disabled son was ill on that day, and I was keen to get this hearing over with to return home, the panel were aware of this, but a fiasco then took place that I found both incredulous and insulting. We had not been there long before this enforced break while we waited for the Superintendent, the inspector had left and we were stood out on a landing where coffee, and biscuits were ordered and delivered, on arrival it was decided that toast would be better having ordered the toast there was concern over whether this would be white or brown toast. There was great joviality and silliness, which I found somewhat misplaced as they were there to decide on my integrity.

The Superintendent gave a wonderful performance which was a greatly enhanced version of his original statement, and it was accepted with enthusiasm. I had written(faxed) to the Chief Constables PA on 24th January 2008 to ask if the conversations I had with the various officers would have been recorded, and also to clarify that I spoke to their office and they had the Superintendent to call me. I got no reply) On the day of the hearing (30th), his account had been nicely tailored , he now stated that he phoned me as the Chief Constables Office had asked him to, and nobody on the Panel batted an eyelid. His evidence was peppered with lies and innuendo that led me to believe that he was very subtly drawing attention to my ethnic background, and was claiming that I had told him that I was frequently racially abused within the community, and that I had sworn, I had told him about the vile racist abuse my child had been subjected to and the foul names she had been called. I was not swearing at him, I was outlining what my daughter, a child was going through.By making it sound as if I was claiming to be racially abused and name called, he was effectively making me appear an outcast in the community that as a Magistrate I was to serve!
His evidence was twisted and distorted and accepted without question by the Panel.Even though some of his claims could be proven wrong as a matter of official records.

When I had my chance to speak I pointed out that 3 of the complaining Officers had neither made statements against me or attended on that day, The Secretary to the Panel had said that he had contacted all 3 officers on several occasions asking for statements but none had responded in anyway. I had told how the 2 Sergeants mentioned had not even spoken to me, therefore the complaint against me if not proven to be false was at least exaggerated. The claim that they had spoken to me was a lie! The Polices own log proved it.

I told the Panel that I only kept repeating the fact I was a magistrate in order to make them listen to me, to prove I knew there was Law in place to protect my daughter. It was claimed that I was trying to gain some advantage… this day I cannot see how, asking for a child to be afforded protection from the law, and using the knowledge I had gained in my position as a Magistrate was gaining advantage? I was only asking for what any citizen is entitled to, how can asking for what is rightfully yours be in any way be gaining advantage?

I told the panel how I was not prejudiced against the Police, I saw the Police as I did any other organisation, with both good and bad within its ranks, this is a realistic view point surely?. I had only the month before given up my own time to see 2 senior officers from a neighbouring force, in order to try and help the Police understand the needs of the Gypsy and Travelling people. Far from harbouring prejudice I am keen to break down barriers and get people talking.

I made it clear that I found it abhorrent that the Police should try and have me removed from the Bench for my conduct in a personal matter, but also how I found it equally abhorrent that any Magistrate who airs concern about the Police should be subject to such an assault.

The Panel agreed with the Police, and have recommended The Lord Chancellor should remove me from my position. They failed to see that I was acting as the mother of a terrified child, and went on to say that in regard to the Police they feel that I am incapable of recognising my own prejudices! I was outraged by this comment, from 3 people who had met me for a limited time in difficult circumstances. If anything on the day I feel the Panel failed to be impartial, indeed I would go so far as to say that I felt that it mattered not a jot what I said, the Police had made a complaint and that was that.

Taking all of this into account, if any Magistrate who speaks out or airs concern about the Police should be ousted, how diverse is the Bench? All the PC diversity training in the world is useless in this environment. Magistrates sit in three’s for the purpose of balance and fairness. To my mind each case should be taken on merit and ALL of the evidence, and of course the evidence should be questioned thoroughly, a person’s liberty can depend upon it. If the Police want compliant Magistrates, and that’s certainly how it appears to me, then the integrity of the Bench and Justice itself is in jeopardy. And where in Gods name does this leave a Defendant? Doesn’t he or she have the right to expect to be in front of a Bench with a balanced and realistic outlook?. In this climate surely there would be hardly any need for a Court at all. It would be more or less a fore gone conclusion that if you stand accused by the Police, then you must be guilty, a frightening prospect.

I have been falsely accused by the Police, and the Panel, all of whom are experienced Magistrates, either failed to see, or refused to see the truth of the matter and the flaws in the complaint made against me, a worrying state of affairs to say the least, Thankfully it was my integrity alone that was at stake and not my liberty and my ability to earn a living.

The Coat of arms in the Court room bears the words ;
Dieu et mon droit(God and my right)
Honi soit qui mal y pense('Evil to him who evil thinks')

I'll second that !


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pesha, my heart goes out to you and your daughter on reading that. It is almost unbelievable but, at the same time, so believable! I don't know what to advise. Over here in the States we have the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) that has been amazingly helpful in cases similar to that (not with Roma, that I know, but very similar cases with Wicca). If it were here, also, I would strike back indirectly through public opinion, by giving the complete story to newspapers, radio and television stations. They are usually looking for "causes" and such prejudice is a popular cause. But, alas, you are not here so - as I say - I don't know what to suggest. I do thank you for sharing that with me.
In love and light,

February 27, 2008 at 6:52:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Pesha
Love the blog. I came across it while surfing the net. I'm Police Officer and I'm shocked at this lot. I'm pretty sure and correct me if I'm wrong that a Criminal Record search would have been done on you before you were appointed. If you have no Criminal record that might colour you view then I think after that we are entering the realms of freedom of speech, and that sould never be surpressed, even in the Judicary. It appears to me that these officers that complained are probably very aware of their own failings. The Law is the Law, and so long as evidence is put before the Court correctly then I have faith in our Justice system. I think it is probably the fairest in the world. I belive it is right to have Magistrates who have varied life experience an opinion. How for instance can someone from a privaliged background even begin to understand life on a deprives Estate?
I also want to tell you that there is so mucg racism within the Police, and the Travelling population are high on the list when it comes to hatred.
Keep it up Pesha, but for the record we are not all beligerent bullies some of us do the job fairly. The guys you mentioned should be out on their ears, and the sooner the better
sincere regards

February 28, 2008 at 11:50:00 AM GMT  
Blogger Malkhia said...

Pesha, it saddens me that there are still people in this world, let alone in positions of authority, that still bear such animosity to the Travelling people. It serves to remind me of the old saying about people fearing what they don't understand, and precious few have ever tried to understand your people. My wife and I recently began studying the culture of the Travelling people, and I think that if more would do the same, it would prove very enlightening about a people that the rest of us could learn a great deal from. Our best wishes and prayers go out to you and your family in dealing with the troubles that seem to target you just because of your heritage.

February 28, 2008 at 1:49:00 PM GMT  
Blogger M Woods said...

Of all the people I know I think you have to be one person who is so tolerant of other peoples views and short falls
Those muskros will not want a person like you because you ask too many questions and you tell it like it is
Once it was clear that 2 of them had lied about talking with you the whole rest of it should have been chucked out and a official complaint should have been made about them.
Liars are always dangerous people but liars who have such power as the police do need sacking and naming and shaming
Name them Pesha Put the names of them on your blogg so everyone knows to watch out for them

February 28, 2008 at 8:23:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Rough Diamond said...

Can you not be left alone for five minutes woman without getting yourself in all sorts of trouble. This is a terrible thing thats happened. What galls me most is that such things have been said about such a good lady and such sweeping judgements made by that Panel. They should stick to subjects they can understand like what toast to have today.
Shay you had every right to speak out as you did What mother wouldn't. I would say that you had a duty to speak out. The Police are public servants, how dare they refuse to help a little girl like this. How dare that Panel say that you behaved in any way other than that of a concerned and loving parent.
If they can take such a cavallier attitude to this situation in which a young girl was at risk, and judge you and find you wanting, then I wounder what sort of parents they are? Of all the people in society that the Law should protect the young the old and the vulnerable should be top of the list, no if's or buts.
As for they are not body gards. What are they then? I have read your account over and over and all I can say is no wonder the country is in the state it is in.

February 28, 2008 at 8:49:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sending me the link to your blog, I had lost it Having found it again I have spent the last hour enjoying a good read.
I was very saddened and disturbed to read this posting. As a Lawyer as a citizen and as a parent I found the whole thing just did not sit comfortably. If your daughter felt threatened and in fear for her safety she had every right to expect the school to take action, failing that the Police were obliged to take action. I can understand that they may not have had resources there and then, but they should have given assurances to attend as soon as possible.
I believe you had every right to pull them up about this and previous incidents. Primarily you are a parent and as such your duty is try and protect your child, To say that you are prejudiced toward the Police is ridiculous, but it appears to me that you had valid complaint and they knew this. Knowing where you live I have done a little research this it only a few minutes on Google to understand why they are so defensive. Humberside Police do seem to be "Professionally compromised" to say the very least.
Like you Shay, I know many dedicated and highly professional officers, it's a shame all round when you get a handful of spoilers like the ones you had the misfortune to encounter. The biggest shame is that they were allowed to achieve their goal. I agree this was a serious situation, but the seriousness I feel is the fact that it is so transparent that suddenly when you are becoming troublesome asking them why they are not doing the job we the public entrust them to do, they suddenly feel the need to complain about something that took place 2 months earlier. It is my feeling that something was very much wrong here, and they knew you were just not going to go away.
I agree with the previous poster, if those other two officers who claimed to have spoken with you clearly had not, the whole thing should have been rejected and questions should have been asked and answers demanded. If they can be dishonest about this, where does it end
sorry to be anon. I cant remember my google ID xx

February 28, 2008 at 9:52:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Pesha,

Thank you for your e-mail and for pointing to me towards your blog - which I have looked at with interest. It is good to see someone taking active steps to rectify the distorted picture too often painted of Romany people.

Kind regards,

David Alton

Professor Lord Alton of Liverpool
House of Lords,
London SW1A OPW

Foundation for Citizenship, Liverpool John Moores University

Telephone: 0207 219 3551 (House of Lords)
0151 231 3852 (University) Fax 0151 231 3853

To listen to a Roscoe Lecture, visit, then click Roscoe lectures, then podcasts.

February 29, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Sissy & Frank Doherty said...

The first thing I want to say is that none of this would have come about if the Police had acted professionally in the first instance "we are not body guards" is not the sort of snide comment you need to hear when you are worried about your child. Reading this and having talked to you often about this Shay I know that your stress levels were raised significantly by this remark which demonstrated a lack of professionalism and respect. Officers then making a bogus complaint partly based on fictitious conversations with you is deplorable. You say that these officers failed to make statements, sorry but they should have been forced either turn up and face you, or forced to withdraw their allegations.
How can the public ever have faith in the Police when this sort of behaviour is allowed to go unchallenged. That Panel should have been asking some very awkward questions.
The biggest flaw in all of this to my mind Shay is that they ended up doing the very thing they had refused to do, and that was to do the warnings. What was all that about? Why did they refuse at first? And why did it take so long to raise their complaint against you?. Could this panel not see that it was than a bit of a coincidence that you were starting to rattle bars again, and they suddenly felt this very admirable urge to defend and protect the justice system. Hooray for the boys in blue! very well done
Shay your being slapped down for being persistent and not accepting the shoddy service they were offering. I don't know why they were so loath to protect Bronny, but there is no reason or excuse that can be acceptable.
You and I have talked and talked about this, and I know how decent and fair a person you are.
As for that panel all I can say is there is none so blind as those who do not want to see.
You know Shay it true what the saying says
"all it takes for evil to prosper, is for good men to stand and watch"
And this is evil, and how far does this evil spread? Does it spread to innocent people rotting in jail?
Mr Woods I agree these Police men need naming
Do it Shay
What are they going to do, sue you?

February 29, 2008 at 6:22:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Dick said...

This tale inspires both sorrow & anger, Pesha. If the long catalogue of indifference, obstruction & dishonesty is the product of calculated racism, it's disgraceful & sickening. And if it's a cover-up for systemic stupidity - poor communications, lost documentation, unfiled materials, mangled information - it's infuriating & inexcusable.

Either way, as anonymous 1. suggests, you have a potentially very high profile case. I'm sure you'll have made contact with Liberty by now & probably the main Gypsy & Traveller organisations. With all the carefully recorded & dated data you have, their legal teams should be able to wade in to powerful effect.

As for the media, would it not make sense to take this straight to both BBC & ITV & The Guardian & The Independent?

Go for the jugular, Pesha!

March 1, 2008 at 3:12:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two sides to every story.
Why would anyone believe thieving gypo scum????????
I read your side
so ok you wanted to get the scum off the hook
You lot should get jobs pay tax and stop asking us to keep your fucking retard kids
Go out and collect scrapp and leave the law to the law abiding and if your kids want an education that includes St Patricks day and other RC saints days

March 1, 2008 at 11:46:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I’m very grateful to know of this blog and I’ve read it with considerable interest. I believe you are the first Romany to become a magistrate but, sadly, not the first to have had to fight so hard to protect your child from bullying.

I’m going to tell others of your blog – I hope that’s OK to you. Others, I think, should hear of your experience.

Bob D

March 2, 2008 at 10:24:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shay. Pesha bitti pena
all of this makes me sad and thats the truth.It makes me sad to know how your girl has been treeted and then about the police
I am an old woman and I got to say things just are getting worser for us we is the only ones who can be treeted bad and the newspapers filled with hate about us they would not be allowed to say things like that about black or asian people and rightly too but they can about us
That offensife comment calling us names well you should deleat that mi darlin
you got to fight this
from Sadie and Violet

March 2, 2008 at 10:33:00 AM GMT  
Blogger Pesha_Tshaya ( Leshya'e Romanes) said...

Thanks you everyone for your comments. Sadie & Vi, I'm sorry about that unpleasant comment, I had the dubious pleasure of reading that just before I went to bed last night. I know it's not very nice but I'm not going to delete it, it's been put there, and there it will stay, I cannot invite comments and then delete the ones I don't like. But I do apologise to anyone who finds the content offensive, I know I do.
Thankfully I don't very often get things like this put on my blog, but the emails !! Ohhhhhh they can be sizzlers!
I will be appealing to the Lord Chancellor, I have to do that by tomorrow. to be honest I don't hold out a great deal of hope, but I feel I have to try, because I have been lied about, and that is never good.
I am truely worried also that I cannot just sit back and let it pass, it's not just the lies told about me, but the collusion between officers. It's a frightening thing when you consider these people could be responsible for innocent people being criminalised.
The Magistrates Association have a discussion forum, and I posted a link to my blog on there, I have had emails from other Magistrates, who offer sympathy and support, but have been afraid to post publicly on the foum or on my blog for fear of being removed from their position as well. I find this whole thing to be worrying in the extreme,
Again, many thanks for the comments and emails, all are very much appreciated.
bright blessings

March 2, 2008 at 11:05:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be a soldier, and I would trust you with my life

March 4, 2008 at 12:06:00 AM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[quote] The Magistrates Association have a discussion forum, and I posted a link to my blog on there, I have had emails from other Magistrates, who offer sympathy and support, but have been afraid to post publicly on the forum or on my blog for fear of being removed from their position as well.[/quote]

The MA forum is used by about 20 people regularly, with about 130 people "dropping in", out of 30,000 magistrates. It is hardly representative of all magistrates, so I would not get you hopes up about that.

I strongly suggest you go to the media - a truly public airing of the issues will be the only way to address this.

take care,


March 4, 2008 at 4:37:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although we have only heard your side of the story (as a magistrate my self, I have to say that, don't I!) I was very saddened by it and I hope that your appeal is successful. It would be a great loss to your area and the magistracy in general if you are removed from the bench on the evidence you have presented here.

March 16, 2008 at 2:56:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes me angry to hear your story Pesha, but I can't agree with the sentients of some of the people responding to your posting. I have had my share of dealings with the police as a protestor. I have been up in front of magistrates plenty too. I think in all my time I have only come across one police officer who wasn't overtly arrogant, prejudiced and prepared to lie on oath at the drop of a hat. And magistrates will always blindly accept the word of a police officer as truth, no matter how poor or contrary the evidence is. I hope you get your position back - I am disgusted but not at all surprised. The police are not public servants, they are agents of the state and agents of the wealthy. There is no accountability and no hope of a fair hearing - the facade of independence of the IPCC has crumbled and everyone knows it's a joke. Good luck Pesha, I think you're up against it.

March 21, 2008 at 2:16:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Comment on Anonymous March 21, 2008 2:16:00 PM GMT

[quote] And magistrates will always blindly accept the word of a police officer as truth, no matter how poor or contrary the evidence is.[/quote]

Both Pesha and I (although we have never met) would I hope agree, that a magistrate would NEVER blindly accept the word of a police officer.

Ignoring the yes you would/no I wouldn’t arguments, one of the most important reasons is that if we were not totally independent then the question arises of what’s the point of a magistrate? Why not allow the police to decide all by him/herself to fine someone – without any form of complaint….

By having someone independent then we get to stop the excesses of the police.

March 26, 2008 at 2:49:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you will post news of the outcome of your appeal, both here and on the Magistrates' Association discussion site.

March 28, 2008 at 6:01:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Lady K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 31, 2008 at 7:11:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law before me did, and after me will be live.

May 15, 2008 at 3:47:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always think that when EVERYONE ELSE is painted as the villain of the piece, such as in this case, that maybe YOUR perspective is a little out of wack !!

Is the rest of the world out of step with you !!

June 8, 2008 at 3:35:00 PM GMT  
Blogger Pesha_Tshaya ( Leshya'e Romanes) said...

Thank you for your comment ANON.
Are you saying that it is acceptable for a child to be violently attacked in this way?
Are you also saying that the Police are not expected at take action to protect a child from such violence?
Are you saying that if you (and these things do happen) found yourself in Court, that you would feel comfortable if the Police were to believed without question?
I'm sorry, but if thats the veiw of the rest of the world ( and I'm sure it is not) then I am quite relieved to be out of step!
I note that your post was ANON, racists and right wingers often cover their identity, some hide under flour sacks while others peddle their purile views with anonomous postings.
"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

June 8, 2008 at 4:07:00 PM GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear of your situation. I am a Romany is the US and have suffered as a result of prejudice against my heritage in my child custody case. My ex worked in law enforcement, so his word is believed, I am a Romany and mine is questioned. The ending was horrific, he gained custody and succeeded to keep them from seeing me for eight months, none of my relatives could speak with my children. Those who held positions of influence were told that I was a filthy Gypsy and any other negative connotation imaginable. I have now contacted the ACLU and am awaiting their response. I am praying that they will take my case. It has been three years of struggle and financial devestation in appeals and other court appearances. They have labeled me a liar and refused to let people on my behalf speak. I had grown weary but never willing to give up, for they are my children whom I adore! Justice must prevail, so..please do not give up, our children and other's may depend on our persistance. I don't have a google name, but my name is Lisa and I live in Virginia.

September 9, 2008 at 3:30:00 AM GMT  
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