Editor’s Blog: The Olympic Defence

WE DON’T get to court as much as we would like to. Given time and expansion, we hope to cover a lot more. It is important when reporting from the press bench, not to start morphing into a Daily Mail reader. Having covered court cases for twenty five years it is also important to let the wheels of justice do their thing and not pass judgement but now and again as part of the “Sunday Comment” series, the justice system may come into our radar.

One person had not appeared in court to answer charges of shoplifting. Their case worker was there. They explained that the accused was unwilling to get out of bed. Later on, the case reporter returned and explained that the accused had now got out of bed and had been out into a taxi…From Waltham Forest to Grays. We had a sneaking suspicion that the taxpayer was footing the bill.

Lawyers always have to put up a stout defence for their client. That is their job and if they have pled guilty then they have to plea for leniency by accentuating all the good work the client has done since the offence. However, we have noticed that the “plea du jour” appears to be “On the shortlist for the Olympics” We heard it at least twice on friday. One wonders whether this is being deployed in courts all over the country.

On a very busy friday, only one defendent came to court, in a suit and tie. Funnily enough, the court heard that their father had moved them away from the borough to Manchester, ‘In order to get away from unhealthy influences”.

Others had to be asked to put their i-pods away, take their hands out of their pockets, stop smirking. The list went on and on.

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