Skipton Magistrates Court Breaches the Magna Carta

by the Editor
Published 23/9/2018

From the outset of this article I would like to make it clear, I am not defending littering. The point of this article is that Magistrates Courts cannot be allowed to breach the law of the land and assign disproportionate fines. Some may have no sympathy with those who litter, but where does this end; you put your bin out on the wrong day and get a grand fine?

The Craven Herald and Pioneer reported recently on Ryan Parker being fined for throwing £415 for seemingly dropping a bag out of his car. On top of this he was made to pay the council's legal costs of £555 and a surcharge of £41.

Click here to read the Craven Herald and Pioneer article

Article 20 of the Magna Carta which I repeat below shows that this judgment is actually unlawful and Skipton Magistrates Court is now operating outside the law, unless of course he threw some absurd volume of the material out of his car and the cleanup cost this much. Given that Ryan Parker is quoted as saying the following, I don't think that likely: “I’d gone round to the passenger side to do a wee and the bag fell out when I opened the door. It was laziness on my part not to pick it up and I apologise for that now”.

"Magna Carta Article 20:

For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a villein the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court. None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood."

Magna Carta

I ask here is this fine in proportion? It's not clear exactly what was in the bag, but it doesn't seem in proportion from what evidence we have to hand. I do not like littering, but we have to be sensible with judgments. We have convicted paedophiles getting off with lighter punishments than this.

I would also like to question why the council were risking spending (if they had been defeated) £555 on legal costs for a case? Do Craven District Council not have their own staff versed on the laws of this country, without the need to pay solicitors or is this a case of the Magistrates Court charging to deliver "justice" which in itself would be a breach of Common Law and bring the court into disrepute?

I am not trying to insult anyone involved with Skipton Magistrates Court as there will be some good people there, but a court cannot issue unlawful judgments and claim to be acting within the law.

Skipton Magistrates Court

This sort of thing is happening throughout the country and we must become aware of our Common Law unalienable rights. The train companies are in some cases applying unlawful fines of £20 or double the fare (whichever is greater) to people in a rush who have had to get on the train without a ticket. If this happens to you, tell them politely, but firmly that they have no lawful recourse to do so.

The Craven Freedom is not of course advocating not paying for a train ticket. What I, the Editor am saying is that if you get on the train without a ticket and pay on the train or at the station there is no lawful recourse for a fine. It is nothing more than a racket to try and extort money out of people. Yes, some people are fare dodgers, but Common Law can deal with these people, they can be charged with theft and dealt with accordingly. If we used the laws we have correctly the country would function.

Any fine at a court should be reflective of what has been done. For example if Ryan Parker had thrown a few pieces of furniture out of his window, a fine of the magnitude he got, might be appropriate to clean the mess up, but if it is something like a straw wrapper then it clearly isn't in proportion.

Remember that action conquers fear. All it takes is to quote your rights and stick to them. They might still try to enforce and this is where courage comes in. I have wrongly been accused of throwing litter by one of the litter wardens. Whether he mistook me for someone else or was looking for some commission, I do not know. I told him straight he wasn't having my details and departed. That was the end of the matter.

I would always advise be polite, but firm. As outrageous as some of the behaviour is, if we meet it with respect and lawfully rebut their actions then we are in the right and can turn this tide. Some litter wardens may be interested to hear how their employers are employing them to break the law and not telling them their role is unlawful.