Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Heavy Matters

In the remand court, as opposed to a trial court, the bench see a steady stream of defendants charged with anything from the trivial to the downright nasty, and after a while they tend to blur into each other a bit. Just occasionally though we can sense a change of atmosphere. The court staff look just a little more grave, perhaps some of the seats fill up with unfamiliar faces, a reporter or two may appear, and we find ourselves dealing with something out of the ordinary. On one occasion we found ourselves faced by half a dozen burly men in the side seating, all wearing jackets but with obvious anti-stab vests underneath. They had that look that spoke CID, but it was after the case had been dealt with that we found out that there had also been armed officers in the court foyer. Up came three black men, jointly charged with trafficking in cocaine, following the seizure of a million poundsworth. What had prompted the security was the fact that in searching the home of one of the men a gun had been recovered, and that gun had been forensically linked to two murders. All three had a wodge of pre-cons, and previous involvement with Yardie gangs - there were no applications for bail. Once they had gone, sent off to the Old Bailey, the atmosphere in the courtroom relaxed noticeably, and we went back to our list of drunk drivers and shoplifters.

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