Thursday, June 02, 2005

Did I Miss It?

I went to a Magistrates Court today to deal with a Client who had not turned up for their trial and who had been convicted in their absence. The Client had previously surrendered to the warrant issued for his arrest and today's hearing was to deal with an application to reopen his case and to set aside the conviction.

Usually an application to reopen a case will last a matter of minutes as an excuse is given to the Court and it is hoped that the Court will accept the excuse and reopen the case. Today's hearing lasted just short of two hours. My Client gave evidence claiming he had received a phone call telling him he did not need to go to Court from a certain person. The Prosecutor rubbished this account saying the person in question had not been in contact with the Client at all since the proceedings had started. The Client broke down in tears, we adjourned for a short time and came back.

When I gave a short closing speech the Magistrates were about to go out when the Prosecutor stood up and then said, "Oh, there was a telephone conversation. My file says that the Defendant did speak to X". If only the Prosecutor had accepted this earlier!

The Magistrates then went out and after 40 minutes came back with a positive decision to allow the case to be reopened.


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Lawyers in Maidstone Kent said...

Thanks for sharing your experience. You have a nice blog.