Sunday, 23 November 2008


So I walk back to the car – carrying my blue bag and all of the papers. I was worn out despite the fact that all I had done was wait for the decision.

The Head Master pulls out of the car park – sees me, stops and winds down his window.

He’s done it before you know. It’s bloody ridiculous to see him get off like that. Do you know his history?”

Well, actually I did. I knew what he had, in the past, been accused of, and what the disciplinary reports had said about our teacher. To summarise, let the record show that:

1. After provocation he had attacked a teenager in the school, and had caused some physical injury, although not serious. There had been an internal enquiry, and our teacher was disciplined. The boy did not wish to press charges;

2. He had spat at a child, again after provocation – there followed another internal enquiry – with a caution given to the teacher;

3. On a school trip there had been an altercation and a child (16 years old) had his nose broken – there was circumstantial evidence, which pointed towards our teacher – no one was saying anything and so the matter was dropped.

Our case was the forth incident.

I knew all of this before I went into Court – and had fought tooth and nail for these matters to be hidden from the jury. The Judge decided that they were highly detrimental and that the case should be brought on its facts alone.

So – P Club – the case was not as clean, straightforward as it appeared.

I said to the headmaster that I did know the teacher’s history and could understand why the case had aroused so much emotion.

With that – the headmaster swore and sped off.

I got to my car and drove home.

Another day at the Office.

As for our teacher – his last comments to me were that he was going to have a serious chat with the headmaster - to put him straight - to ensure that his career was put back on track.

Our case is now at an end P Club…..hope you found it entertaining, enlightening and enriching.

Justice in the raw.

Sunday, 16 November 2008


The Jury go out.

P has a little chat with our teacher – he presses me for my opinion – I say “It’s all gone very well…but one never knows” – he then recounts some of the things I said in my closing – “Herculean strength” – “the message a guilty verdict would send to society”. He liked it all – some of his friends compliment P on the way the cross-examination was carried out – “very clever” – “you nailed it”.

I say nothing more.

Anyway – these are tense times – I hate the wait whilst the Jury is out.

P goes for a wander – a swift walk around the Court – then out into the park – keeps his eye open for the nutters – just in case they want another pop. I can’t go too far in case the verdict comes back.

So I give it half an hour.

As I walk back into Court the usher is waiting at the door – “Verdict is in”.

We take our seats; I look around at our teacher – he is ashen faced – gives me a nod – his family are all there – in the public gallery – tense – apprehensive.

In they walk – 12 good men and true.

The Foreman stands and we have the usual verbal formalities. I maintain an impassive expression throughout.

Verdict is announced: “Not Guilty”.

The Jury look at me and I retain the expression – win or lose – the same impassive expression. It’s my shield.

There is a bit of a commotion and I turn to see our teacher standing to his feet – gives me the thumbs up – beaming – I also see the headmaster storming out of the Court – with some others.

Outside I speak to the teacher – he is overwhelmed – his wife and friends are hugging and kissing him and then they all gather around – thanking me, shaking my hand – unsure whether to hug me too – they fidgit and decide not to. There is talk of champagne and celebrating. But not for me.

As I go to leave the teacher says to me; “The little bastard deserved it….the little shit.”

With that.

I go back to the Robing Room to get changed and to think things over.


Saturday, 8 November 2008


Must take this carefully.

Truth is – a lot of barristers are stuffed shirts – have never mastered the art of being likeable as well as persuasive. Too much up their own arses to be real, normal and human. They prefer to sound like barristers – educated chaps; addressing a jury in a reserved and distant manner.

I don’t like that.

Better to win people over with a bit of wit – a touch of eloquence – some magic and charm. Of course the meat of the matter is the evidence but the delivery is the sugar that sweetens the pill.

Let the boring buggers be boring – Mr P is never that. Dullness don’t win votes on a jury.


In a criminal trial before a jury – I always start with a mantra:

“The defendant doesn’t have to prove anything – the prosecution brings this case and they must prove it beyond a reasonable doubt so that you are sure….sure….that the defendant is guilty of this crime. You must not rely on gut feeling, or a mere sense of guilt, but must look to the evidence. That evidence can be direct or circumstantial. You must rely on the evidence and the evidence must support the prosecution case so that you are sure of this man’s guilt. You cannot leave an important case like this to chance, there is too much at stake.”

I always kick off with that stuff – a jury might not necessarily know it. The judge will include this in his summing up – but it sounds better from me.

I then rabbited on about how difficult a teacher’s job has become – how society has seen deterioration in standards of behaviour – the lack of respect – the rise in knife crime – blah…blah…. It’s all true – all verbiage bollocks – but it would have a profound effect on a sensible jury.

Most ordinary folks would support a teacher, and I make it clear that I support all of the teachers who gave evidence in this court.

I then remind them of this kid’s behaviour – unprovoked – the foul words that were spoken (I say them again....and observe the jury grimacing). I say that this is the sort of thing teachers have to put up with everyday…they need and deserve our support.

And here’s the important bit: the summary of my main points – I signpost them right at the start – give them titles – headings – and take each in turn slowly. I say – I have THREE main issues – THREE – and they are simple points – here they are:

1. Being hurled to the floor;
2. Being grabbed around the neck;
3. The evidence of the boy.

I watch as the jury members write the three issues down – and underline them on their pads. Then they wait….patiently for me to start with issue number one. It’s there blinking at them on their writing paper – the paper demands words.

I am winning already. They are with me – I am simple – at their level – I am one of them.

Point One: Being hurled to the floor

I detonate my bombs throughout.

Who saw what happened?

One teacher only…..nobody else….and he was standing 200 yards away (of course he bloody wasn’t ! he was 20 yards away…..but was too hard headed to correct his error….and the prosecution were as dim as a 10 watt light-bulb to take issue with it).

And he says he saw – the lad (who was 10 1/2 stone and 5’ 5”) being hurled through the air backwards but miraculously sustained no injuries to the back of his head. It cannot be true, and I point at the defendant – “look at the defendant – he’s not a big man – not a latter day Arnold Swarzeneger (bit cheesy I know) – to have done this – he needed a piece of magic or Herculean strength. It just didn’t happen – how could it have? We must reject this evidence, as being entirely implausible.”

Ultimately – it’s his word against the defendant’s – a 50/50 scenario – not enough to convict this man. What can tip the balance? The evidence of the boy himself”. See later…..


Point Two: Being grabbled around the neck

The evidence was that it’s easy with a struggling and lunatic kid to lose grip and to momentarily fall outside of “Team Teach”. There were no markings around the neck. The headmaster confirmed the fallibility of the Team Teach system.

Point Three: The evidence of the boy

And I read out his statement – slowly. The statement does not say that the teacher attacked him but it says it was an accident.....



P appeals to their common-bloody-sense, and what a guilty verdict will mean for society:

A kid kicks off – trashes the room and attacks a teacher….and..THE TEACHERS GETS PUT INSIDE……NOT THE KID.

The kid swaggers off – boasting to his mates.

What a symbol of our society – what a message…...what a mess.

We must resist this at all costs.


The judge sums up the evidence fairly.


Oh- the prosecution did a krap, erudite and dull closing speech....