In the Media

New Website Launched That Unravels The Myths And Mysteries Of Sentencing At Magistrates? Courts

PUBLISHED May 28, 2007

A new website has been launched today (Monday, May 28) By a London JP and a former Justices? Clerk which will detail the likely sentence anyone appearing before magistrates could receive.

The new free site is being aimed at anyone coming into contact with the legal process ? be they the accused, the victim or witnesses.

Magistrate Neil Humphrey and David Lowdell, a Clerk to the Justices for 30 years, felt as there wasn?t sufficient information already in the public domain around sentencing, they would provide it themselves.

The pair teamed up with web designer Gareth Horgan and IT specialist Steve Donaghy to create the new on-line information service.

Sentencing guidelines on the website relate to many crimes including:

  • Burglary (dwelling) ? a fine of up to ?5,000 and/or a six months custodial sentence, which can be reduced by up to a third for an early guilty plea.
  • School non-attendance ? a fine of up to ?2,500 or/and a three months custodial sentence.
  • Assault on a police officer ? a fine of up to ?5,000 and/or a six months custodial sentence. Again an early guilty plea may see the sentence cut by a third.
  • A very wide range of motoring offences

Mr Humphrey said: "In our experience we felt there was a need for information concerning the sentencing options available to magistrates to be more easily accessed.

"Now the general public will be able to look at the charge, or charges, and see what could happen when a case goes to a magistrates? court. The information is based on judicial precedent, Acts of Parliament and sentencing guidelines.

"The website will guide the user through the criminal charges and possible outcome and provide simple to understand scenarios and likely sentences."

The website, which is launched today, May 28, is free to the general public but is funded by lawyers paying a subscription fee to join the countrywide list of legal representatives together with associated advertising.