cro n c urt

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In the UK the crown court is a criminal court.   The security guards asked “are you coming in or not?”     to explain my loitering “I’m a tourist,   can I come in?   I have a camera” they helpfully  direct me  to check my camera into their lockers.   Without a camera I felt naked.  

Wendy:   can you recommend a court with an interesting case?

receptionist:   I have no idea what counts as interesting

bewigged-lady:   there’s a grumpy judge in court 1 and he’s probably going to shout at me

besuited lady: there are some ongoing cases in courts 5 and 6

The bewigged and besuited ladies started discussing the merits of the various court rooms.   I wandered off to court 1 to discover  an appeal against  the police-revocation of a gun licence.   The appellant had originally declared his previous criminal conviction for car theft when applying for,   and receiving,    the original gun licence.   The police admitted that they had not checked  how the stolen car was subsequently used – in an armed robbery.  

The police  had new information that they believed made giving the appelant a gun licence a very risky proposition.   The appellant’s right to  natural justice  required that their appeal  could address  the information that the Pollice used to make the revocation decision.   The police did not want the appellant to know the information they had used in this judgement.   This case was unique and the lawyers introduced lots of similar, yet different cases as they discussed how to proceed.

The character witnesses in the public gallery behind me,   looked like UK versions of the Soprano’s.   Posh suits,   short haircuts,   regional accents.   Phrases I overheard from the character witnesses included

they’re talking about whether or not he’ll find out  what the police have  got on him

that will cost him another 20k

his ex-wife must have talked

The judge appeared genuinely concerned about the appellants ability to exterminate vermine being curtailed by having  his gun licence revoked.   The witnesses giggled.

In the courts people wore wigs,   held bibles above their hearts and swore poetic oaths,   bowed to the judge,   debated points of law.   All dressed ‘well’,   even the juries.   I was undoubtebly the scruffiest person in the building in my anachronistic mountain equipment jacket.

cro n c urt
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