Day 2: July 8th 2014
Mr T. had told me yesterday that I could come and meet him for coffee about 9.30am to talk about his career and working life etc to get more insight into his job and professional development and things. However yesterday at approximately 5.20pm he’d been given a case he had to cover this morning. It was to do with grievous bodily harm of a baby He got the relevant 200 page bundle about 9.20am for a 9.30am start. I was a bit late meeting him so I didn’t get there in time to go into the court with him which is a shame because it was a plea and case management hearing which I haven’t seen before. I had to wait outside with a huge bunch of like 16yr olds on a school trip waiting for a suitable case to go and see with their teacher. The court staff had (rightfully) advised that what was going on right then probably wasn’t suitable as it was so sensitive.
I met Mr T. after which was when he told me the above. We went straight to the court where yesterday’s trial would be continuing as there wasn’t that long until it was due to start up again. There was a brief sentencing hearing for another person who had been convicted of a number of offences such as dangerous driving, driving without insurance, stealing, and stealing a vehicle (I am purposefully being kind of vague with facts, apologies). Unfortunately they were still awaiting the pre-sentence report from the CPS so the defence requested the hearing be adjourned until they had the report which the judge agreed to. The defendant therefore remains remanded in custody until the sentencing hearing which I believe is to be in a few days time.
After that, yesterday’s trial about the teenager who was assaulted and injured continued. It took a while to start because one of the jurors had aired concerns that he might know the defence witness because he knew someone of that name so some digging had to be done – turns out it was just someone with the same name.
The complainant’s cross-examination finished. The next witness was his sister, then the PC. There was also then discussion without the jury present about the bad character application put through by the prosecution. The judge allowed three previous violent convictions of the defendant to be put on the ‘agreed facts’ paper to give to the jury as a result of the discussions.
After lunch again the trial continued. The defendant gave their evidence and then the defence witness who was a friend of the defendants. After that came the prosecution’s end speech and the defence’s end speech. Then the judge started his summing up, which involved reminding the jury of his role, of their role, giving them some directions such as how to interpret/use the knowledge of the previous convictions and the same about ‘no comment’ answers in police interviews, and an explanation of some relavant legal jargon that had arisen such as what ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ means. This took us to about 4.15pm which is when court usually finishes so the case was adjourned until tomorrow morning, when the judge will finish his directions and then the jury will be released to deliberate and make their verdict. Mr T. will probably have a cover because he’s got a case in a different city to do that morning and so probably won’t be able to make it. He said he would request that I be sent there tomorrow though as I would really like to see the end of the this trial now that I’ve been in most of it. I will ask chambers tomorrow morning too.
So that was day 2. I’m really enjoying myself so far (although absolutely knackered) and seriously now considering work in the criminal bar…never thought I would say that, haha. Although more likely for the CPS than in a chambers.