Retiring magistrates’ poetic 
protest at being shown the door

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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Two long serving magistrates stood down from the bench staging a poetic protest.

They both objected to the new mandatory age of retirement for justices when they reach the age of 70.

Hotelier Janet Boccaccio and retired civil servant Margaret Holyoake became magistrates on the same day and retired on the same day yesterday after 20 years’ public service in Blackpool.

Both women received tributes from colleagues before cases started for the day.

Mrs Boccaccio then read her ditty which included the words: “Seventy –forced to retire but not quite ready.

“I cannot appeal and cannot sue.”

Mrs Holyoake then read her couplet: “There was once an old magistrate

“Who at 70 had to accept her fate.

“I may not be decrepit

“But open the door and
 I will exit.”

Last year former magistrate for the area Karen Henshaw sang a protest song in court to complain about being retired automatically, followed by retiring magistrate Bob Barclay, who said: “It seems strange I can still sit on the jury and try a person for murder but I can’t sit as a magistrate and decide whether someone has stolen a packet of bacon from a supermarket.”