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Magistrate (Episode 563)

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Occupation Magistrate
First appearance 4th May 1966
Number of appearances 1
Played by Andre Van Gyseghem

The unnamed Magistrate and his two colleagues tried Ena Sharples on a charge of the theft of two tins of salmon (priced at 4/6 each) from the Pick-a-Snip Supermarket in April 1966. The Magistrate was confused that her address was also her place of work and snapped at her when she refused to give her age to the Magistrate's Clerk. After Ena admitted that she was 66, the Magistrate told her that she had the choice or trial before them or the Crown Court. Ena chose trial before him and his colleagues and declared that she was not guilty.

Ena interrupted store manager Mr. Snape's evidence though the question she put to him from the dock as to where he had been standing when he witnessed the theft was grudgingly allowed by the court. She then took the witness box and told the court that she had no idea how the items came to be in her bag, admitting somewhat tearfully that she just didn't remember. When questioned about her income, she told the Magistrate that her only income was her widow's pension of £4 per week and that she refused national assistance as being a charity. He grew annoyed at her when she snapped at him, reiterating her mental block as to what happened.

The verdict was guilty and the Magistrate sternly told her that she had set a bad example to others but as it was her first time before the court, and taking into account her previous good character and her age, she was only fined 40/- and given an absolute discharge. He went to admit that the crime seemed out of character and against all the beliefs she had demonstrated throughout her life.

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