Wednesday, February 25, 2009

No Joke

The BBC covers the story of a menace found guilty at North Sefton Magistrates' Court of two counts of breaching by-laws after skating in Southport town centre. This was no hoodie, Geoff Dornan is a 71 year old pensioner who told the court he took up skating seven years ago to keep fit. Mr Dornan says he asserts his right to skate harmlessly and he will appeal to the Crown Court.

On the face of it this is quite a funny story, but apart from the nuisance and possible danger to others what strikes me is Mr Dornan dogged determination to do what he wants without any thought to others and regardless of by laws. This attitude is very similar to a father recently who had decided he was entitled to a certain amount in a divorce settlement and despite having being told twice by a judge the court would rule very differently because the proposal took no account of the housing needs of the child the father's reasoning was he 'thought' he should get £x.

What a waste of Court time and resources Mr Dornan's case is when Courts are clearly struggling to deal with cases which seriously impact on families' lives and cuts in legal aid mean there are growing numbers who cannot afford legal representation. Mr Dornan can access justice to assert his right to skate, but the child of the father above is likely to loose their home because the mother feels pressurised into settling because she cannot afford to take the matter any further.


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