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IF NOT CUSTODY; WHAT????
written by The Justice of the Peace on the 16th January 2019 at 14:16

RECENT cases dealt with by Taunton Magistrates' Courts include:

Richard Anthony Ward Coombes, 42, of no fixed address, two counts of theft as a trespasser, 12 weeks prison (consecutive) on each count, £780 compensation; theft as a trespasser; damaged a detention cell, one week prison (consecutive); used threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, two weeks prison (consecutive); caused a nuisance or disturbance to an NHS staff member, possession of cannabis, breached a criminal behaviour order, no separate penalty. (G). 

The above is copied from yesterday`s "This Is The West Country."
The report below is copied from "The Gazette" [Blackpool] yesterday.

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A father-of-eight repeatedly messaged his former partner in breach of a court order. Lee Morement even contacted a male friend of his ex’s and tried to dissuade him from having a relationship with her, even though they were only platonic friends. Morement, 36, of Ribble Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with a restraining order. He was sentenced to 16 weeks jail and ordered to pay £115 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Jane Goodwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court. The judge told him: “You have yet again broken an order designed to protect her.”Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Morement was made the subject of an indefinite restraining order in September last year which banned him from contacting his ex or going near her address. On December 23 he messaged his ex stating: “Put me back in jail all you like,” before messaging a male friend of hers warning him off from having a romantic relationship with her. He had previously breached restraining orders and at the time of the offence was on licence from prison after assaulting his ex.Steven Townley, defending, said his client and ex had been together 18 years and had eight children.There had been problems in their relationship because Morement had a bad drinking problem and they split up in July. Since then he had only seen one of the children because the others were said not to be ready to see him. In a December (sic)  he was at a party and had been drinking. 

Both these offenders were sentenced to immediate custody. The government pressurised by campaign groups and looking for further savings on its bill for prisons seeks to explain that all will be well if magistrates courts have the custody option removed bearing in mind that 4% only of cases at those courts result in a custodial sentence. I would invite any reader who supports such proposal comment on what they might consider a suitable non custodial sentence bearing in mind of course that only those in the courts at the relevant times would have heard all the proceedings.  
 Originally posted at https://thejusticeofthepeaceblog.blogspot.com/2019/01/if-not-cust...

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