Friday, August 22, 2008

Rumpole's Revenge

Uxbridge Magistrates' Court will see a media scrum today as Gary Glitter is brought from Heathrow Airport to sign the Sex Offenders' Register (in the event he sent his lawyer, but the scrum happened anyway). The same happened a few weeks ago when a paedophile was deported from Australia to the UK, and again when Naomi Campbell was sentenced for misbehaving on an aircraft a month or so back. Uxbridge has seen a good few famous faces over the years, usually due to its handling cases from Heathrow. Vinnie Jones and Peter Buck of R.E.M were each dealt with for boorish behaviour on aircraft (the latter being acquitted by a star-struck jury at the Crown Court). The dock has seen a steady stream of stars, including the late Linda McCartney, who failed to take the basic precaution of getting a staffer to carry her drug stash through Customs.
A pal who sits at Uxbridge tells me that in years gone by John Mortimer QC appeared to represent one such, and ran head-on into the legendarily formidable Laurence Crossley, Clerk to the Justices. Crossley took exception to Mortimer's rather grand insistence on getting on early, and kept him sitting around for the best part of the day. As a result nearly every Rumpole of the Bailey tale includes at least one gibe at the Uxbridge Magistrates; "not, in my experience, a notably soft-hearted or easily swayed tribunal" said Rumpole.

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