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....


Mr Pineapples said...

P - that was bloody-brilliant

Bar Boy said...

Whilst you are basking in the warm self congratulory glow of your own genius, would you have you any any more verbiage bolllocks for us hard pressed bar students ? We are told to copy and steal at our leisure and any old bollocks cannot possibly be worse than the inane drivel I am coming up with myself. All contributions gratefully received.

Mr Pineapples said... are you?


Start writing your closing speech as soon as you begin to read the papers.

In real life - there is often very little time.

On your left hand have a clen sheet of paper headed up "Closing Speech Thoughts" and as you go through the evidence add points to it.

Decide what your case theory is and work your evidence to suit that case theory and then worm it into your closing.

P would find Himself writing closings on the train to Court - when the instructions were received the night before.

Also - try to summarise the speech at the start......Juries and Magistrates....DJs a road map...


Ms. Moon said...

Can't wait to read the outcome on this one.
Good to have you back, Mr. P!

Thud said...

Good stuff!

Law Minx said...

An EXCELLENT Closing and Most DEFINATELY a winner, Mr P!! The jury should not so much have an element of doubt but a great big YAWNING chasm in their minds as to the guilt of your teacher! I am seriously, seriously impressed!!

Mr Pineapples said...

Well......P is going to give the verdict VERY soon.

Law Minx said...

My Dear P,

I hope you dont keep us all in suspenders for TOO long - I dont want to have to wear false fingernails to call!!!!!!!

Mr Pineapples said...

Minxta.....would love to see you in suspenders.

You are a tease.

Law Minx said...

Naw Ya Wouldn't - Far FAR too much cellulite!!!

Lost said...

Mr P - brilliant closing speech, I see that most barristers use the "you must be SURE" part.. the reaction on juries faces is quite that of being shocked, "oh we have to be sure now? hmm i'm not that sure"...

Swiss Tony said...

Let hope the jury give the teacher a pay rise, force the head to spend a month teaching the kids, and the kid a thick ear and a kick up the arse.

Then justice will surely have been done.

Go P go


Marjorie said...

Sounds like a good closing speech.

Bar BOy - the other thing I was taught was
1. Tell them what you're going to say (summary)
2. Say it
3. Tell them what you told them (Summary)

Tamara said...

"Well......P is going to give the verdict VERY soon."

I damn well hope so... the suspense is driving me dillier!

Trubes said...

Wow Mr P. knife edge stuff indeed...can't wait for the verdict!


monkey said...

Looking forward to this one P, bring it on

boXer girl said...

"You must not rely on gut feeling, or a mere sense of guilt, but must look to the evidence."

I'm not sure that I ever want to serve on a jury. I've come to rely on my gut instinct, my inner voice, and I don't know that I could do as you ask and put that aside and ... well ... look at just the evidence. I would hope that I could, but I'm not sure that I could ...

Pretty scary thought for me.

electro-kevin said...

Ha ha ha !

Yes it was 'bloody-brilliant' Mr P.

Perhaps you could prosecute the bastard who murdered my friend and colleague on Thursday night.

A tragic loss of a person loved by everyone.

A random killing by car crash - murder charge has been filed by police.

(See the penultimate post on my blog.)

Anonymous said...

You need to get Mailwasher.

Mr Pineapples said...

Dear P Club - just a couple of thoughts:

Lost - yes - a brillaint speech from The P - let's hope it works eh?

Tony - Justice? You what? keep with it.

Maj - yes - very important to sign-post - help the jury understand what's happening

Tamara, Trubes and Monkey - Verdict this weekend - your patience is appreciated and celebrated

Boxer-Babe - gut feelings - you touchy feeling person you !! Not much of that in UK courts

Kevo - very sorry to hear that - you must be feeling pretty dire. A friend of mine died 10 days ago - funeral was monday - hard to deal with

Rob's Knees - kicked your arse me old mate - I see you are removing P's educated comments from your blog - in survival mode again?


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, what did you say? your comment was automatically deleted by pre-set software. Please try again.

Mr Pineapples said...

But Dave....who said I said anything?

Come on Dave...have you been having a sneaky peep at Mr P's comments? You have !! You naughty boy !!

Bad boy !!

Naughty boy !!

Anyways....P thought you were allowing His comments onto your "Blog".....decided they are too much to handle eh?

Too witty ??

Too.....everything ??

Dont blame ya.

Disheartened Law Student said...

I can feel sorry for myself if I like. Whats it to you?

Mr Pineapples said...

"Disheartened Law Student"

Stop feeling "sorry for yourself"

Cheer-up-you for Gawd's sake.

Such misery is sad and pathetic...AND an embarassment to the Great Institution that is the Law.

I speak for The an esteemed member of The Law


Law Minx said...

My Dear P,

I reiterate - where is the Denoument, the eagerly anticipated conclusion?! Your audience is impatient for the long awaited resolution of this matter!

My Other Blog said...

This weekend - Verdict! Guilty, hang them all!
Whoops - except your client, innocent as a baby, a lamb, a saint.
This weekend means today or tomorrow - you've got a 26 hour reprieve.