Friday, September 04, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

I was in court yesterday, and rued the ending of the school holidays, as my journey to court took half an hour longer than it did last month.

Our courtroom was very busy, and our clerk told us that there were already nineteen people in the cells, probably with more to come. Of course most of these people needed to see their solicitor (often the duty one), so it was almost eleven o'clock before we made a start on their cases.. Just to give you an idea of what we had to deal with, I made a note of our list, before the late entries and extras were added:-

Person banned from local transport hub - back again
Male exposing genitals on a crowded train (children present) Goes on to ask woman in next seat if she does head jobs,
Common Assault
Assault PC x 2, racially aggravated S4 Public Order Act, Possession of Class A drug
Breach Restraining Order x 2
Class B possession, obstruct drug search.
Handling stolen goods
Section 18 GBH with Intent x2 (indictable only) (had to watch nasty CCTV of man on floor being kicked on the head)
Conspiracy to do above
Theft of handbag from supermarket trolley (Lots of previous)
Breach of ASBO
Common Assault (Domestic)
Criminal damage to gaming machine (FOBT)
Breach of ASBO
Theft from shop
Breach ASBO
TWOC and breach of bail
£200 fraud on hotel - no means to pay, and he knew it.
Assault PC x 2
Shop theft
Breach of ASBO
Drive drunk, no licence, no insurance, use foglamp in daylight
Fail to Surrender to Bail
Domestic Common Assault x 2

Finished just before 6 p.m. Roads terrible. Went to pub.

22 comments:

  1. The Section 18 GBH was indictable only. Why did you need to view the CCTV?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The CPS presented the full facts as this was the first court appearance, and that also went to our bail decision.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What were the sentences please..??? Would like to know what they all received....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lazy lazy police..................Jaded.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarcasm old chap,that's a full list and the crims don't hand themselves in ....Jaded

      Delete
    2. Mmm, yes. It's just there's so many anti-police comments on this site it's hard to tell the difference between that and sarcasm sometimes.

      Delete
  5. Sorry, I just don't remember. We would only sentence those who plead guilty straight off, and in many of those cases we have to adjourn for pre sentence reports. Other cases (eg the GBH) have to be sent to the Crown Court so our decision is whether or not to grant bail.Not Guilty pleas have to be set down for trial, and case-managed, which all takes time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the cheeky 'use fog lamp in daylight' tagged on to the drink drive job - must have been a traffic officer!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's one of the breaches of "Don't draw attention to yourself" rules.

      Delete
    2. It very much reminded me of http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ArsonMurderAndJaywalking

      Delete
  7. 4 breaches of ASBOs in one day? Crikes, you must dish out a lot of ASBOs in your area!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Blimey, you did have a busy court. It's a world away from my experience. I'm a JP in a large northern city and would never see anything like that kind of list. These days a morning session will start late and finish early and ditto for the pm session as well. The latest I'd expect to get away would be around 16.30ish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ee, it's not that grim oop north then? Here in the South Midlands we too can face a dozen-plus custodies in a typical Monday remand court, which of course will take precedence over the 30 or so cases already on our list. We will always clear the custodies, however long it takes, but there are inevitably a lot of unhappy defendants who have been sitting in the foyer since 09.30, and who have to be bailed to another day.

      There is little joined-up thinking when case management officers surely know that weekends produce a lot of customers?

      The same goes for trials - on a typical trial day we might have four listed, one of which might be a full-day, the other three half-days, the rationale being that two of them will be ineffective. Frequently all four are ready to go ahead with all witnesses present, and again much unhappiness when we have to take the priority (ie domestic violence) trial, leaving disgruntled defendants, advocates and witnesses. The chances are those witnesses will never return.

      Delete
    2. Ironic really, my home town has long had a reputation for it's level of crime and yet we are seeing less and less business through the lower court. We know that fixed penalty notices has something to do with it but then again FPNs are a significant disposal country-wide so that doesn't really explain why things are quiet here.

      To be honest I'm a bit envious. There's nothing I hate more than sitting around with little or nothing to do.

      Delete
  9. "Frequently all four are ready to go ahead with all witnesses present".

    Good heavens. I wish!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. That sounds like a typical list in our remand courts too...except...we now do many remands by virtual links from the police station. We normally only manage to get through 12 to 15 cases in a day instead of a previously typical 20 to 30. This is because usually defence advocates are unable to get on the link to take instructions while it's being used in court and vice versa. A 6.30pm finish is becoming the norm.

    But we are told by our masters in the MOJ that this is progress and the future and we should all be good boys and girls and embrace it. The reality is that it's a rubbish system, the defendants are totally disengaged from the process (all they can see is a little tv screen) and if a long case management is needed because they have pleaded not guilty they can be sitting there staring into space for 20 minutes or more. God help us if they're not represented for this process too. I pity the court clerks...

    ReplyDelete
  11. I appear to be renowned for having an albatross around my neck when it comes to trials.

    We also get the four trials planned for one day, but when I turn up they all fall apart. I wouldn’t mind so much but I take annual leave from work for this to waste in the retiring room.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I got most of the acronyms, but "TWOC" has beaten my pre-coffee brain. Help?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taking Without Consent - nicking cars.

      Delete
  13. I ushed at a busy south midlands mags court for 8 years and this wasn't an untypical I/C Monday morning list. The court custody cut-off time was 2pm and, dispiritingly, until that time, as fast as we shipped 'em out one end, they'd be shipped in the other. In true sod's law fashion, the day a local (and then backbench) MP Andrew Selous paid a visit, it was embarrassingly quiet...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Seems like you had a very eventful day. And may I say colourful too.

    sophiaserenade.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

Posts are pre-moderated. Please bear with us if this takes a little time, but the number of bores and obsessives was getting out of hand, as were the fake comments advertising rubbish.