Thursday, 23 October 2008


Nearly there P Club....keep with it....the dénouement is imminent.

Let me tell you about my client: the schoolteacher.

He was a very normal, unassuming sort of geezer - not demanding, not slagging anyone off, just straightforward - a normal bloke - keen on sport - loved football, loved his wife - loved being a teacher.

I really liked the man. We got on like a house on fire – he even laughed at my jokes – and went along with everything I said. Some clients can be a total pain in the arse.

He did appear at times a tad listless, slightly disengaged from the process - his mind distracted. But he was keen to answer my questions and to assist me in any way.

Obviously - he was stressed out by the whole thing and had not enjoyed his suspension from work, knowing that his career and reputation were hanging in the balance. He managed to hide his stress very well, but he was nervous – by Gawd – I could tell that.

He was accompanied to court by supporters - and his wife came too. The whole gang of them were great - buzzing with anticipation and eager for our chap to win.

Barristers cannot train their clients on what to say in the witness box - coaching is forbidden in the UK. But I always say this to my clients:

"Tell the truth - simply tell it like it happened. Don't get annoyed by the other side's barrister - don't get angry and upset. You will be attacked, and called a liar, but you mustn’t let it get you down. At all costs do not get angry because that's what they want - a reaction - to prove that you are a voluble and violent man. Regard it all as a bit of a game, and never ever take personal offence as to what is said. The barrister has no personal dislikes he’s just doing his job."

The teacher got up there and was as good as gold - came across as sincere and hardworking - he told it just like it happened; no guilding the lilly and no colouring of detail.

He had indeed been let down by the school and judged before the facts were known - but he did not attack the headmaster in any way - on the contrary he uttered words of support throughout his evidence.

The Crown’s barrister was totally krap – as weak as dishwater – a wimp of the highest order. Some barristers should have been solicitors – they lack personality in the court – lack courage and the biting will to win.The Crown Barrister attacked him - called him a "violent aggressor", "a liar", and "a bad teacher and a danger to children". But our chap just took it mildly and said that he was sorry to hear those words.

I also called 2 other teachers in the school to give character references for him. They declared that he was a thoroughly sound teacher, who cared deeply about the kids, worked long hours and was passionate for his job.

The man did extremely well, and I know that he made a very good impression on the jury.


So to my closing speech

Friday, 10 October 2008


Sorry folks for the long delay between posts – but there have been some issues back in Italy which The P has had to deal with. Totally back now….and on with the show.

The Headmaster was called as a witness. He seemed a very decent chap – but nervous in the witness box. The other side’s barrister leads him gently through some of the evidence, and out of the blue the headmaster starts talking about our chap's earlier assaults on kids. Weird - because he had been told by his barrister not to mention any of this; and I was assured that he would not.

Well up I stands – very quick – I do not want the jury to hear this. I demand that the Judge sends them out whilst we sort out a legal matter. Out they go. I argue that this is “Bad Character” evidence by the back door and should not be admitted. None of the allegations are proven and certainly our chap has never been charged for any crime....ever.

The Judge agrees with P – and the Headmaster is advised to stay off the subject. The sick thing is that I had already had this matter dealt with in the Court before the headmaster appeared.

So eventually I get to cross-examine the headmaster. He certainly was nervous and smiled weakly at me as I rose to my feet. I acknowledged him with a nod and a half smile. Like I said – a decent bloke – doing a difficult job – no way am I going to tear into this chap. So I give him respect and take things calmly and slowly. The Jury would expect no less.

It transpires that he did not witness the incident – was in his office at the time – just saw the aftermath. Found kid lying on the floor crying, sobbing and teacher wandering about wondering what to do...bemused and befuddled.

So I asks him what was the point of his evidence.

Apparently it was to explain to the Court the strictures and mechanics of “Team Teach” – the system for controlling wayward and unruly kids. So I says to him:

So difficult to prevent your hand moving from the child’s back and arm isn’t it? – Especially when he’s struggling.”


“Not fool proof is it – “Team Teach”


“You weren’t surprised to see the boy sobbing on the floor – it’s quite usual to see upset kids at this school, isn’t it?”

Quite usual”

“You didn’t see the teacher hit the boy?”


“Throw him to the floor?”


It transpired too that in the aftermath, although the child was looked after - picked up and ailments administered to, the poor old teacher was left to get on with it; he was asked to return to the class,on his own, to carry on with the lesson.

This was against the rules of the school: he needed another teacher present with him, as all of the children are disturbed and "behaviourally challenged".

On that day He was later suspended - without being afforded the opportunity of putting his version of events.

I put all of this to the Headmaster who meekly agreed that they had got it all wrong, dealt with it badly, and had let the teacher down through lack of support.

And that was it.

But as the headmaster was getting out of the witness box – he turned to the jury and said:

“I would never employ this man again….he has hit other children……he is not right…..”

He had to be forcefully removed and was still shouting and pointing at our teacher as he was ejected from the court.

What a scum- bag.

The Jury heard and saw the whole bleedin' thing.