We are trying to catch up on our backlog of trials this month and some extra courts have been laid on. Inevitably, the first three that I sat on fell apart. The first changed his plea to guilty and the second had the charges greatly reduced, resulting in a guilty plea. The third was a typical foul-up; one witness was unavailable abroad and had been so for a while, but nobody had bothered to make a hearsay application. Neither police officer had been warned to attend by the CPS either. So the prosecutor bowed to the inevitable and threw his hand in, offering no evidence. I duly announced that the case was dismissed.
So far so not-very-good, but the day was enlivened by an (unsuccessful) attempt to escape from the courthouse and ended sombrely when I passed a huge pile-up on the motorway involving at least half a dozen cars and vans, with police ambulances and fire engines all over the place. (later edit) I discovered from the news that a helicopter had attended too, and landed on 'my' side of the road, so I was well out of it.
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