Wednesday, May 24, 2006

How Not To Impress A Court

I have spent a number of days this week as the Court Duty Solicitor generally representing Clients who have been held in custody by the Police and put before the Court, or Clients on bail who have a sufficiently serious case to warrant legal representation.

I had the joy, today, of representing a Client who was in custody. He had been accused of a domestic assault, and had similar previous convictions. He denied being involved in the allegation and decided that he would plead not guilty. We then discussed bail and my Client told me that he wanted to apply for bail. After a consultation I had his case called on.

When my Client appeared in the dock he stood as many young males do with his hands down his trousers. The District Judge presiding over my Client's case looked over and shook his head, then he said, "Take your hands out of your..." he then stopped and did not seem to have the words to finish the sentence. My Client was then asked for his address, he replied by naming a large British city as opposed to his house number, road name, and town.

The rest of the hearing continued in much the same vein. My Client would heckle from time to time, his best heckling moment was when the Prosecutor stated that my Client had declined to answer questions in interview and when asked to comment on the allegation he replied to the Police, "It's bollocks". Upon hearing this my Client heckled, "Yeah, it's bollocks".

I did my duty and applied for bail. My bail application was refused, as expected.

My client could have enhanced his chances of success by appearing to actually care about his case in the dock, and by conducting himself in the dock that would suggest he was respectful of the Courts powers and therefore could possibly be trusted to abide by bail conditions. Unfortunately his whole demeanor suggested that he did not care and that he would not stick to bail conditions because of his lack of respect for procedure and rules. Although conducting himself in a respectful manner would not have been a good reason for granting him bail it would have at least been one small foundation upon which I could have based other arguments for bail.

1 comment:

motoring solicitors said...

Hope that next time I will use a solicitors good as you as my licence just been taken by the court because I choose a bad solicitor.