Thursday, October 06, 2005

Court Hopping

I went Court hopping today.

I received a telephone call yesterday informing me that an application to break a two day Youth Court trial was going to be listed today at the request of the solicitors for a Co-defendant in the case. I was already due to be at the Magistrates Court that was a mile up the road.

Due to only being told about the application to break the trial fixture yesterday I was unable to arrange for someone else to cover the hearing. A number of my colleagues are away, another was already attending at an on going Crown Court trial, and the others also had existing Court commitments.

I set off for the first hearing with my fingers crossed that the hearing would start promptly at 10.00 am. I hoped that the second hearing would not start until 10.30 am as the second Court starts sitting at 10.30 am. Unfortunately my first hearing did not start until 10.25 am. I ran out of the first Court after making a flurry of phone calls warning about my late arrival.

I got to the second Court by 10.50 am to find that the second case had not been put on to the list. Neither the Court nor the CPS had a file. I had to wait around until 12 noon before the Court had made up a file and listed the case in a Court, then shortly after the Court file emerged a CPS file was found. Despite being ready shortly after 12 noon I had to join the queue at the end of the list and eventually got called on at 3.05 pm.

The Court hopping was successful in so far as I got to be at the right places at the right time - it is just a shame that the second case took so long to deal with.

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