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The TRUNK March 2019

The TRUNK: where branches come together

27 March 2019
The TRUNK March 2019

First speakers confirmed for MA Conference 2019


conferencePresident of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane (left), will be sharing his views on the current challenges facing the family justice system and what future reforms may be required.HM Courts and Tribunals Service Chief Executive Susan Acland-Hood (centre) will be discussing the changing face of the magistracy, Sentencing Council member Dr Alpa Parmar (right) will be looking at interactions between inequality and justice and Director of the Centre for Justice Innovation Phil Bowen will explore problem-solving courts in criminal justice.

Head of Research at the London Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime Dr Paul Dawson will be speaking about the use of Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirements, independent consultant Mary Ryan will talk about the setup and rollout of the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts and the Sentencing Council and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust will be delivering sessions on mental health and stalking respectively.

The 2019 MA Conference, Awards and AGM will take place on Saturday 19 October 2019 in historic Stratford-upon-Avon. You will have the opportunity to network with magistrates from around the country, hear from key figures in law, government and the criminal justice system, participate in thought-provoking breakout sessions, and meet MA officers and staff. We have also introduced new conference features, including topical panel discussions and lightning talks!

The theme of this year's conference is THE CHANGING FACE OF JUSTICE so please join us for an interactive look at the future of the magistracy against the backdrop of the wider justice system.

Book before 1 July 2019 and get the reduced Early Bird rates!

For more information or to book a place click here.

Central and North London MA: building relationships with the East London Mosque

mosqueThe East London Mosque is a large and influential mosque in Whitechapel, a very ethnically and culturally diverse part of London. It which runs a wide range of activities and programmes which reach beyond its purely religious mission. In 2016, the mosque estimated that its annual footfall was of the order of 1.7 million people. The building includes a separate women’s centre, as well as housing and retail units and it offers a range of services which includes counselling, including for victims of domestic abuse.

As part of the North London Bench, Central and North London MA has been involved in a number of different events with the mosque. These began with a visit to the mosque (with the East London Bench) in July 2018, followed by leaders of the mosque being invited to visit Highbury magistrates’ court as the first stage in encouraging them to join the magistracy. It was agreed that if they were to become magistrates it would be better for them to sit slightly away from their immediate local area to avoid conflicts. About half a dozen mosque elders then visited Highbury in September 2018 for a lively discussion about criminal justice and a court observation.

In February of this year, the magistrates then returned to the mosque to present to a larger group of circa 50 people (both men and women), with a view to encouraging them to consider becoming more involved in the criminal justice system. They provided information not only about applying to be a magistrate but also about membership of referral order panels, Advisory Committees and Independent Monitoring Boards. They were warmly received and a number of audience members stayed behind afterwards to ask questions.

The engagement so far has been very positive and the bench and branch have established a good channel of communication with the mosque and their message of the importance of a truly diverse bench which represents its local community has been well understood.

If you have any queries, please contact Amanda Gibbons.

Magistrates Golfing Society starts its 2019 programme 

Golfing SocietyThe 2019 programme opens with a mixed stableford competition at the Saffron Walden Golf Club in Essex on 15 April. It will start at midday and is open to all magistrates, district judges and court clerks, sitting or retired, who have a club or society handicap. If you are not a member of the society, why not come along and join them for the day? After that you may want to join their happy band, but it is not compulsory and you will not be pressured to do so!

Saffron Walden are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year so the society are assured that their picturesque parkland course will be in tip top condition, and that attendees shall receive a warm welcome. After the golf, there shall be a two course dinner, which is always of good quality and a most sociable occasion.

For more information on the Saffron Walden course go to the MGS website on and follow the link to the club’s website.

Also available on the MGS website, is their full 2019 programme, which covers venues around the country. Early May sees the society in Buckinghamshire and then later in the month travelling North, with visits to Chester and Dunham Forest at Altrincham.

For more information contact MGS Secretary, Paul Coombes.

East Sussex MA: county lines drugs trade - what magistrates need to know

youthsEast Sussex MA invites all MA members to their spring training event, which is being held at the Victoria Baptist Church, Eldon Road, Eastbourne. The event will start 9am and be finished by 1pm.

The training event will be based around the topic of the County Line Drugs Trade, and the branch is delighted to have Assistant Chief Constable Jason Hogg (Head of regional policing teams dealing with serious and organised crime) attending with other senior police officers, alongside specialist charity workers dealing with families and children involved in dealing with the fallout.

This event is open, and free, to all MA members and has been approved by the local JTAAAC.

For further details please contact Mark Durell.

Black Country MA: domestic abuse event

ribbonOn 11 May, Black Country MA will be hosting a series of presentations on domestic abuse, at Penn Bowling Club, 10 Manor Road, Wolverhampton WV4 5PY. The event will begin with a brunch reception at 9.30am.

The scheduled programme is as follows:

1. Senior police officer from the Adult PPU Team: levels of domestic abuse, non-molestation orders, number of non-crimes, crimes and convictions

2. Coercive control specialist

3. What is the difference between a narcissist and an empath?

4. Survivors of domestic abuse, male and female, including hearing from a victim

5. The Freedom Project (how successful is it and evaluations)

6. WAVE: update about the charity and new projects about to commence

7. Online dating

8. Q & A

If you have any queries, or would like to register your attendance, please contact the branch before 3 May 2019.

‘The PURPLE RIBBON tells everyone that you stand against domestic abuse…remember, while each October marks National Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, it is not confined by a calendar.’

Domestic Violence Shelter and Services, Inc.

For more information, please contact Kathryn Yarsley.

Lancashire County MA: AGM and presentation by Lancashire Constabulary Cybercrime Unit

webThe Lancashire County MA AGM will take place at Preston Grasshoppers RFC, Lightfoot Green Lane, Fulwood, Preston PR4 0AP on 1 May 2019 at 7pm. The venue is located 5 minutes from J32 of the M6 and there is plenty of free parking.

After the business part of the meeting there will be a presentation by the Lancashire Constabulary Cybercrime Unit.

Lancashire hotpot or vegetarian lasagne will be available from 6pm and cost £6 per person. Payment can be made by cheque or bank transfer with full details on the AGM notice available on the branch page of the MA website. Complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits will also be available and the rugby club bar will be open.

Please contact Fiona Duggan with any queries.

Bedfordshire MA: May mini-conference

noahBedfordshire MA would like to invite you to come along to their next mini-conference on 18 May, at The Rufus Centre in Flitwick, MK45 1TH. The action will kick off at 9am.

The mini-conference will have three brilliant one-hour presentations, each including an interactive Q&A session.

9.15: Jim O’Connor MBE, Chief Executive of New Opportunities And Horizons (N.O.A.H.). N.O.A.H. is a Luton-based charity, offering hope and support to people struggling against homelessness and exclusion.

10.15: Arnold Yousaf, SOS and Project Co-ordinator for St Giles Trust. St Giles Trust is a charity helping people facing severe disadvantage to find jobs, homes and the right support they need. The charity offers intensive, specialist help for young people affected by gang-related violence and exploitation. They also work to prevent young people at risk of becoming involved in gangs and violence.

11.15: Coffee break

11.30: Judge Lynn Tayton, Luton Crown Court. Judge Tayton will deliver a training session about the work that magistrates do in dealing with appeals by defendants against decisions made in the magistrates’ court. It will be very useful to those of you who are already involved in this work, but also colleagues who are considering taking it up in the future.

The branch runs run three of these unmissable events yearly, so if you can’t make this one, do please keep your eyes peeled for the next.

Please contact Roderick Carberry for more information or to register for the event.

Surrey MA: recognised by the High Sheriff of Surrey

surreyAt the recent dinner for the judiciary, the High Sheriff of Surrey, Jim Glover, gave an award to the Surrey MA Magistrates in the Community team in recognition of their excellent work and dedication.

R-L: Tim Hurley JP, Mike Slee JP, the High Sheriff Jim Glover, and the High Sheriff’s police cadet Naeel Radha.

For more information about this, please contact Karon Goodfellow.

MA leadership training day

leadershipOn 18 March, the MA ran a leadership training day, in partnership with leading training consultancy Olivier Mythodrama. The day was funded by a donation given to the organisation with the specific purpose of funding leadership development.

Olivier Mythodrama uses the power of drama for transformative leadership training. Developed by Richard Olivier, an award winning speaker and leadership coach, and a member of one of the world’s most respected theatrical families, the organisation has been helping companies and organisations maximise their leadership potential since 2001. Its unique approach is based on timeless mythology and the great plays of Shakespeare. These are stories that tap into the fundamentals of what it means to be a leader: inspiring others, wise decision-making and behaving with conviction and integrity. Their clients include AXA, BP International, GlaxoSmithKline, Harrods, Harvard Business School, John Lewis, Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, London Business School and Microsoft.

Attendees represented a wide geographical spread and a number of different roles within the MA, including council members, members of policy committees and branch chairs. The day was framed around the Shakespeare play ‘Henry V’, and the lessons it can teach us about leadership.

The story of Shakespeare’s most purpose led and inspiring leader, provides a template for leaders to evaluate themselves and examine their big projects. Henry must step into a new role, gather a diverse team together, agree on a big project and then overcome significant difficulties on the journey towards a great victory against the odds. During the day, themes of purpose, vision, motivation and inspiration were explored in a highly interactive and experiential programme. The underlying message being, ‘if you don’t know what inspires you, it will be almost impossible to inspire anyone else’.

Participants were introduced to an overview of the story and then explored the leadership challenges most relevant to them. They took part in a number of different interactive exercises to learn how their current leadership strengths could be utilised, as well as discovering what areas of leadership they found more challenging and in what ways these could be developed.

The day was extremely well-received with attendees rating it highly in their feedback. Many identified specific areas of leadership development on which they would like to work further.

Some feedback on the day:

• ‘It is insightful and a very interesting method of delivery, not something I’ve come across before but very well-delivered and thought-provoking.’
• ‘I came away having had one of the best training courses as a magistrate for 25 years.’

Many thanks to John Viney for providing the featured image.

If you have any queries or would like more information about the day, please contact Jude Zendle.

Northumbria MA: talk on the Electronic Monitoring Service

EMSElectronic monitoring (known as ‘tagging’) is used in England and Wales to monitor curfews and conditions of a court or prison order. The electronic monitoring technology is managed by Electronic Monitoring Services (EMS).

On 27 February 2019, Neal Madden, Northern Stakeholder Manager for EMS, joined Northumbria MA to give an entertaining and very informative talk about the EMS and how ‘tags’ work.

He explained the process of installing monitoring equipment and the risks that staff used to face prior to the sharing of information by all the agencies involved. The current system is about 15 years old and is undergoing an upgrade to include GPS technology, which is already in limited use.

The purpose of EMS is to restrict liberty; reduce the risk of further offending; interrupt the pattern of offending; and to provide clear evidence of compliance or otherwise with conditions set by the courts.

Neal also gave examples of how ‘tampering’ with the equipment (which in some cases was quite ‘innovative’) can be identified because of inbuilt technology. He also explained about how breaches of conditions are reported.

For more details on this talk, please contact Lesley Dickinson.

South and South East London MA: mock trial heats

mockOn 9 March, South and South East London MA hosted their local heat of the mock trial competition at Bromley Magistrates’ Court. This is part of the Young Citizens’ ‘citizenship experiences’ that help to improve young people’s life skills, their understanding of the justice system, and the role it plays in society.

Year 8-9 students from five local schools took on the various roles in a trial and competed against each other, with the assistance of magistrates, legal advisers and court staff.

The Ravensbourne School won for the first time after eight years of trying! It was a well-deserved victory, reflecting all the hard work done by the students and teachers in preparation for the competition since October last year. The result was met with loud cheers, followed by lots of selfies holding the trophy! The branch wishes them the best of luck in the regionals and hopefully the final. Go Ravensbourne!

For more information about this, please contact Stephan Smith.

Leicestershire and Rutland MA: spring conference

prtLeicestershire and Rutland MA held their annual spring conference at County Hall, Glenfield, Leicester on 14 March.

The event was hosted by Ozzy O'Shea, the Chairman of Leicestershire County Council. Leicestershire County Council, as one of its patrons, continues to provide valuable support to the branch.

The event was well attended by local civic dignitaries, representatives from across the local justice agencies, senior police and local magistrates.

The programme included updates on local HMCTS matters, presented by the Deputy Justices’ Clerk and a very enlightening, informative and thought provoking talk by Peter Dawson, Director and Company Secretary of the Prison Reform Trust titled ‘The work of the prison reform trust and current projects’.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact Steve Kinchington.

Central and North London MA: veterans’ mental health training event

hospitalIn February, Central and North London MA held a veterans’ mental health training event at St Pancras Hospital.

The training was delivered by two psychologists based at the hospital, and focused on ex-serving military personnel in the criminal justice system. It highlighted the particular difficulties faced by veterans and gave attendees practical guidance on how to deal with specific issues in court.

The event was a well-attended and informative, at which the branch welcomed members of the MA from other branches as well as representatives from veterans’ charities.

Central and North London MA’s next event will be on Cyber Crime and the Dark Net and will be held at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on 21 May.

For more information or to register for the above, please contact Sharon Ereira.

Magistrates tell 11 and 12 year olds 'your life, you choose'

ylycYour Life, You Choose (YLYC) is a magistrate -led project that has been running for over a decade. It aims to deter young people from getting involved in crime, particularly gang involvement and knife crime; to assist them to stay safer and signpost them to help and support. The project adopts a multi-agency approach involving police, youth offending teams, local magistrates, victim support, prison officers or ex-offenders, government ‘Prevent’ initiative, drug education projects, ambulance services and other local specialist agencies.

The YLYC Project Day begins with Year 7 students watching a short DVD about an 11/12 year old who is groomed by a local gang leader. Students then attend five workshops selected from the participating agencies. The day concludes with a plenary where ‘helpline’ cards, listing national and local services that support children, are distributed.

This year’s event was attended and observed by John Bache, MA National Chair, and Lisa Whitehead, MA Membership, MIC & Events Manager.

Project evaluation by Cumbria University in 2018 concluded:

‘It is abundantly clear from the data that the project day is impacting positively on the majority of those who participate and perhaps most heartening is the way the students report proposed changes to their behaviour or, where no specific behavioural change is required, the evidence of an increased awareness of why keeping out of crime is a choice that can be actively made.’

Feedback from headteachers, pupils and staff is available on the YLYC website at: 

Please contact Pam Ullstein for more information.


club1st Prize – Barry Trahar (Bristol & North Avon)

2nd Prize – Helen Edwards (Mid & South Glamorgan)

3rd Prize – Graham Harrison (Buckinghamshire)



Middlesex MA: Unconscious Bias talk

Middlesex MA will be hosting an event on Unconscious Bias on 30 April. Keynote speaker is Dr Sarah Bunn, Scientific Adviser to the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

The event will take place at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel London, 2-8 Hanger Lane, Ealing Common, London W5 3HN from 7pm. It is open to all MA members and non-members.

Please contact Roger King to confirm attendance.

Lincolnshire MA upcoming event

Early June– Annual General Meeting of the Lincolnshire Branch of the MA
Details will be confirmed nearer the time.

For more information, please contact Mary Chamberlain. 

North and West Yorkshire MA AGM

North and West Yorkshire MA will be holding their AGM at Hinsley Hall, 62 Headingley Lane, Leeds LS6 2BX on 11 May. The event will be commencing at 10.15am.

The AGM will be followed by an address from The Hon. Mr Justice Goss QC, Senior Presiding Judge North East Circuit, on “Reform and the future”.  After the address, there will be a training workshop, led by the North East region legal training manager, entitled “Proactive support for Victims”.

The event will conclude at about 1pm. Details have been sent to branch members but do please contact Clive Cooper for more information.

Berkshire MA: members’ meeting in April

The next meeting of Berkshire MA members will take place on 30 April at Sindlesham Court, Mole Road, Sindlesham, Wokingham RG41 5EA.

The meeting will begin at 5pm with a talk and learning experience from Dr Lydia Endersby who is a consultant psychiatrist at Parklands Hospital, Basingstoke (Southern Health NHS Trust). She will be talking about her work, including describing some of the main mental health and personality disorders that may be seen in court. This will fit in well with how members may use their recent training on E-diversity.

After the members’ meeting, attendees will have a talk Mr Graham Barker, the outgoing High Sheriff and a great supporter of the magistracy in Berkshire. He will be explaining how to become a High Sheriff.  

The branch also hopes to be joined by the incoming High Sheriff, Mrs Lucy Zeal, and the new resident judge, HHJ Heather Norton.

For more information, please contact Paul Wassell.

Shropshire MA Social

On 16 May, Shropshire MA are organising a meal at Origins Restaurant at Shrewsbury College.  

There is a set menu at a cost of £20 per person to include 3 courses followed by tea or coffee.  

If you would like to attend please email Nicola Hughes.

Birmingham MA Visit

Crown Court visit on 29 April 2019

If you are interested in having a tour of Crown Court, listening to a talk by a Judge and having the opportunity to observe a Court in action, then don't hesitate to secure a place as soon as possible, as numbers are limited.

To book your place, please contact Margaret Windsor.

Cheshire MA: conference and AGM 

Cheshire MA will be holding their annual conference and AGM on Saturday 12 October 2019 in Hartford, Cheshire. They have some exciting speakers arranged so watch this space for further details.

For further information, please contact Alan Eyres.

Cumbria North AGM

On 8 April, Cumbria North MA will be holding their AGM at David Allen’s Offices at Dalmar House, Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7NY. The event will begin at 7pm.

Guest Speakers:

Jon Collins

Magistrates Association Chief Executive

‘Where are we going? The future of the magistracy and the MA’


Karen Quinn JP 

Chair of Triple A (All About Autism)

“The Autistic Magistrate - a view from the Bench”

All MA members welcome

For more information, please contact Mark Renwick-Smith.

South West London MA visit to the Crime Museum

On 23 April, South West London MA are organising a visit to the Crime Museum at Scotland Yard.

Spaces are very limited, so if you wish to attend please reserve your space early.

If you would like to book a place, please contact Alan Speed.

Northumbria MA Talk

On Wednesday April 10 2019 6pm at The Black Swan, Newcastle Arts Centre, 67 Westgate Road Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1SG.

Northumbria MA will be hosting a talk on “Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements” by Amanda Love & Andrea Bell, HMPPS.

A buffet supper and hot and cold drinks will be served at 6pm.

Please let Vivien Hollyoak know if you a able to attend.

Surrey MA AGM

will be on Wednesday 15 May 2019 in the Guildhall, High Street, Guilford. 6-15pm for drinks and canapes for a 7pm start. The guest speaker will be Brett Lovegrove, former Head of Counter Terrorism for the City of London Police.

For more information, please contact Karon Goodfellow.

Powys and Herefordshire MA AGM

Britain’s newest and largest prison (with some reports saying it will be the cushiest) will be the on the agenda at Powys and Herefordshire MA’s AGM, on the 18 June. 

Their guest speaker is Mark Greenhaf, the Deputy Governor at HMP Berwyn, Wrexham. The meeting will be held at the newly refurbished Brecknock Museum and Art Gallery.  It will begin with a 3pm tour of the museum, which includes the old Assizes Court.  This will be followed by the guest speaker at 5.15pm. The event will conclude with a buffet.

A virtual tour of the HMP Berwyn is available at 

For further information, please contact Stephen Willmot.

Bristol MA Meeting

Andrea Albutt, who is the President of the Prison Governors' Association and an ex-Governor of HMP Bristol and HMP Eastwood Park.  She has a particular professional interest in women offenders.  Angela will be speaking at BAWA Heathcare and Leisure Club, 589 Southmead Rd, Bristol BS34 7RG on Thursday 25 April at 6pm.  All are welcome from 6pm. There is plenty of free parking space on the BAWA site.

For more information, please contact Stephen Hillyard. 

Dyfed MA AGM

The AGM of the Dyfed Branch of the MA will be on Saturday 18 May 2019 at 10am and will be held at Carmarthen (venue TBC nearer date).

Please make every effort to attend this important event, it will be followed by a meeting of the Dyfed MA Executive Committee- there are currently vacancies on the committee, 

For more information or to inquire about a position on the Executive Committee, please contact Julie Morgan.

Central and North London MA Training

A Detective Constable and Cyber Security Adviser from the SC & O7 Organised Crime Command will run an interactive training session with magistrates to better inform us about the proliferation of C

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