Magistrate courts an audience in tuneful farewell

Karen Henshaw
Karen Henshaw
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An experienced magistrate halted court proceedings when she burst into song.

Protesting Karen Henshaw made a showbiz-style objection about her forced retirement from court duties at the age of 70.

Mrs Henshaw, who also sits on Fylde Council, was about to receive a certificate marking her 15 years on the Bench at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Adapting the stage song “Nobody Wants a Fairy when she’s 40”, she stood up and sang:

“For years a magistrate I have been

Had justice done and justice seen

But alas, I’m getting on the years have flown somehow.

And it seems this old JP is not wanted now.

Nobody wants a JP when she’s 70

Nobody wants a JP when she’s old

She may still have her faculties but that is not enough

They like their bit of justice from a younger bit of stuff

When once your big brown eyes have lost their glitter

And you voice has turned from gruff instead of bold

Your JP’s days are ending when your hands have started bending

Nobody wants a JP when she’s old.

For years I have sat on this Bench

I’ve sentenced man and sentenced wench

I can’t do all I did,I am satisfied because

I would rather be a has been than a never was.”

Watching court officals and fellow magistrates gave her a round of applause.

Mrs Henshaw, from St Annes, has specialised in sitting in the Youth Court

Chairman of the Blackpool bench Frank Shipway said: ”Karen has played a formidable role in promoting the work of the magistracy

“In all aspects of court life she will be well nigh impossible to replace.

“The decision that magistrates should retire at70 was made at Government level.”