Should the remarkable Nigel Allcoat, late of the Leicester bench, have departed from his role as magistrate after dipping into his own pocket to rescue an offender appearing before him from dire consequences?

The answer to the question? Who cares, apart that is from the time-servers at the Ministry of Justice. How right he was to resign rather than be complicit in an act inimical to both the letter and the spirit of his judicial oath.

Good on you, sir; the bench is always the richer for the likes of Mr Allcoat.

Many other magistrates had earlier followed their conscience over this issue by doing likewise. That exposes the opportunism and arrogance of a ministry and government fixated on a business model of ‘justice’ rather than that precious commodity itself.

Who could blame the magistracy if it were to resign en masse over this important distortion of due process? Not I.

Defendants and all other court users do pay for our criminal justice system – through taxation.

The Law Society is fighting a determined battle over this anomaly, with one vital omission – it has yet to say that any such levy is wrong in principle.

Malcolm Fowler, Dennings, Tipton