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All criminal cases brought before the courts start life at a magistrates' court.

From the most minor of crimes to the most serious - hundreds of cases are dealt with each day.

Now getwestlondon is offering an insight into what happens in a courtroom on an average day, with reporter Goolistan Cooper bringing you live details of the proceedings at Ealing Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates must send more serious crimes like murder, rape and serious violence cases to the crown court.

But that leaves a whole host of crimes that can be dealt with in magistrates' courts - like driving offences, lower level drugs offences and criminal damage.

Criminals can be jailed for up to six months by magistrates - anything needing a longer sentence must be sent to crown court.

Ealing Magistrates' Court

They can also issue fines and community service, and order people to attend training like anger management courses.

Our colleagues around the south east have also reported from their local magistrates' courts this month.

You can find out what happened in Folkestone , Chelmsford , Stevenage and Cambridge .

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That's the end for court for the day

And that brings an end to cases at Court 1 of Ealing Magistrates’ Court.

It’s been a fascinating day. It’s been a bit stop-start at times, and it can be frustrating.

But its nonetheless an essential and key part of the justice system.

We hope you enjoyed our coverage.

Custodial sentence

The defendant has been given a total of 36 weeks’ imprisonment.

Sentence considered

Magistrates have retired to consider their sentence

Probation officer speak

A probation officer said the defendant was having suicidal thoughts and had been feeling depressed since the passing of his mother.

“He was keen to address these issues” she said, adding that he had been complying with his medication and was feeling much better.

The defence speaks

Stewart has a long history of mental health issues, his defence told the court, but is now taking antipsychotic and antidepressant medication.

He had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity and “it is clear he is crying out for help” she said.

“He knows he needs help” she added.

Charges

These are the charges faced by Stewart, we’ve excluded some information for legal reasons.

1. Criminal damage to property valued under £5000: On 30/09/2017 at within the London Borough of Ealing without lawful excuse, damaged a door and frame to the value of £400.00 intending to destroy or damage such property or being reckless as to whether such property would be destroyed or damaged

2. Use violence to secure entry to premises: On 30/09/2017 at within the London Borough of Ealing, without lawful authority, used violence for the purpose of securing entry into premises... knowing that there was someone present on those premises who was opposed to the said entry

3. Assault by beating: On 30/09/2017 at within the London Borough of Ealing assaulted [a person] by beating

4. Harassment - breach of a restraining order on conviction: On 30/09/2017 at within the London Borough of Ealing without reasonable excuse, he attended [a premises] which he was prohibited from doing by a restraining order

5. Harassment - breach of a restraining order on conviction: On 08/10/2017 at within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court without reasonable excuse, he contacted [a person] which he was prohibited from doing by a restraining order

6. Harassment - breach of a restraining order on conviction: Between 06/11/2017 and 11/11/2017 at within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court without reasonable excuse, he contacted [a person] which he was prohibited from doing by a restraining order

7. Harassment - breach of a restraining order on conviction: On 12/11/2017 at within the London Borough of Ealing without reasonable excuse, he contacted [a person] which he was prohibited from doing by a restraining order

Proceedings have restarted

Magistrates have been hearing the case against Samuel Anthony Stewart, a 30-year-old of no fixed abode.

He is in for sentencing after pleading guilty to a string of charges at an earlier hearing.

And another break

Magistrates have left the court while what appears to be final case for Court 1 is prepared.

Muneir Ali is being called back into court.

His case has been adjourned until January 10.

He has been granted bail on the following conditions:
1. He reside at Osborne Close, Feltham

2. He does not have contact with his mother, brother or sister

3. He does not enter the Acton area, defined as the W3 postcode

The magistrate said: “If you breach any of these bail conditions you could be rearrested and and brought back to court where you could face imprisonment.”

The defendant was allowed one visit to Perryn Road to collect his belongings, but must be accompanied by a police officer.

Earlier, Ali’s defence urged magistrates not to hand down a custodial sentence.

He said his client’s parents are Sudanese refugees. Ali came to the country in 2011 and has since learned English.

He is now studying.

Welcome back

Right you are, I’m back outside Court 1, having been fed and watered you’ll be happy to know.

Court is expected to reconvene at 2pm.

Lunchtime

So that brings us up to date.

Court actually closed for lunch around 30 minutes ago, and will reconvene at 2pm

Case management hearing

A correction - Amid all that, the case of Richard Neale from Shadwell Drive in Northolt, was briefly heard.

The 35-year-old was not required to attend the case management hearing.

His case will go to trial on Friday (December 22).

He is accused of using threatening / abusive / insulting words / behaviour with intent to cause fear of / provoke unlawful violence at Shadwell Drive on September 13.

Returning later today

Ali won’t be sentenced today. It has been decided that pre-sentence reports should be drawn up.

Bail conditions will be set which exclude him from having contact with his family and the address. But as he lives in an annex adjacent to his mother, another address for him to stay must be found.

Therefore he will be brought back to court this afternoon.

Section 4 Public Order offence

He was due to attend a trial on December 14 but failed to attend. He was found guilty in his absence of a Section 4 Public Order offence.

The 23-year-old’s defence says he Ali failed to attend after receiving a discontinuation letter of another case, which caused him confusion.

The court was told he tried to break into his mother’s home in Perryn Road, Acton, and threatened to kill her.

He lives in an annex adjacent to the property.

Another defendant up

Next up is Muneir Ali, who is being brought into Court 1 from the cells.

Not in the building

Next up is Nahel Magid, who is in custody..

But he’s refused to leave his prison cell at Wormwood Scrubs today!

The clerk tells the magistrates Magid had refused to co-operate.

The prison governor will now be requested to make sure Magid appears.

The case is now listed to be heard on Friday (December 22).

The clerk says he is accused of racially aggravated assault.

Sentencing

Jones is handed a six week prison sentence suspended for 18 months.

The magistrates explains that if he commits an offence in the next 18 months and is brought before court this six-week sentence will be triggered.

He is also subject to a six month alcohol treatment order.

The CPS has asked for costs of £650, but the magistrates reduce this to £350.

Jones must also pay a victim surcharge of £115.

There is no separate penalty for the attempted theft.

Magistrates also ordered the destruction of the scissors.

Tampering with letterbox

The CPS tell the court the victim had come to their home in Uxbridge Road, Hanwell, at around 9.30pm to find Jones standing by the front door and appearing to tamper with the letterbox.

The defendant had what appeared to be a knife in his hand and was using it to attempt to open the letterbox, the court was told.

The victim called police, who found Jones nearby. He was searched and a large pair of scissors with blades approximately six inches long were found on him.

Jones said he was in possession of the scissors for work purposes, and gave a phone number, which when called by police, went through to the defendant’s father, Ms Chodha continued.

In court, Jones again said he had done nothing wrong.

The clerk explained to him that appealing the conviction was possible.

The next case

Next up in court is Jules Steven Meredith Jones, from Rosebank Road in Ealing.

The 46-year-old has been found guilty at a earlier hearing of two charges, which both occurred in Hanwell on May 24 this year.

Charge one: Possession of a knife blade / sharp pointed article in a public place - in this case Uxbridge Road, W7.

Charge Two: Attempted theft of post to value unknown belonging to persons unknown.

He is due to be sentenced today.

Aaaaand we're waiting again

This time while the next defendant reads a file in court.

Magistrates are back in court

Though there seem to be two magistrates now, not three that left the court earlier.

What does as usher do?

The genial usher in Court 1 this morning is Gary Lucas.

He said: “I oversee the smooth running of the court.”

His roles include liaising with the CPS, probation services, magistrates and their legal adviser, the cells staff and defence representatives.

“I make sure cases are in a position where they’re ready to be called on,” he added.

The role of the court clerk

During the break, getwestlondon has had a quick chat with the court clerk (who doesn’t wish to give his name) about what his job involves.

He said: “I am the legal adviser for the magistrates. I am effectively the court lawyer.

“I ensure correct practice and procedure and give legal advice to the magistrates.”

That sounds like an important job to me...

Lull in proceedings

The magistrates have stepped out of court.

Victim on annual leave

The case against Mubarak Hassan, from North Parade, Southall, has been put back because the alleged victim, PCSO Saddul, is on annual leave.

Hassan, 20, is accused of causing the PCSO harassment, alarm or distress, using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour, thereby causing that person or another harassment, alarm or distress.

The case has been put back for an afternoon hearing on January 9. The defendant is remanded on unconditional bail.

The alleged incident is said to have occurred in Ealing borough on October 12.

£5 a week

The court was able to remit £230, leaving the defendant with around £900 to pay.

He has been given time to sort out his benefits, and has been told to pay back £5 a week starting from the end of January.

If he is unable to sort out his benefits by then he must come to the court and explain why otherwise he could be picked up by another warrant.

Another addition to the list

Next up is Glenn Sharkey, who is before magistrates on a warrant for outstanding financial payments.

These include costs, surcharges and fines from previous court appearances.

These range from 2015 to August this year.

His defence say the 43-year-old, who is of no fixed abode and living on the street, has had his benefits stopped. He is also an alcoholic, she tells the court.

Recall to prison

After a short wait for the defendant to arrive (she was being held in cells below), Nadine Bourne is in the court.

She has outstanding fines of £180, £200 and £150 dating back to 2015 and 2016.

However, she has been recalled to prison, and will spend the next 14 days behind bars.

As a result, it is deemed that these fines have been served. In effect, the fines have been cleared.

Bourne lives in Eastcote Lane, Northolt, and is 40.

Addition to the list

It looks like the next case may be an addition to yesterday’s published listing. The clerk is trying to find some background details before the defendant is called into court.

Case adjourned

Depending on the receipt of reports, the case will be adjourned to the same court on January 10.

Mr Akers said: “We’ll hold the 10th open unless we hear otherwise.”

The hearing will be at 9.30am.

Mahli is currently staying at a mental health unit on the site of West Middlesex Hospital.