Went to court today to witness against the scumbag who vandalised my car - the
incident that started my interest in local antisocial behaviour. This is how it
went...Got to court about 9am and had to wait 1o minutes or so to get in. Just
the right amount of time to get cold and reflect on the court-case and start
worrying. Finally, got in and entered the witness room. I understood that the
defendant would be in at 10 and at this time I was disappointed by the non show
up of my neighbours - better witnesses than me having seen the whole incident
and knowing the defendant. In my mind, only the presence and willingness to
testify of all witnesses would cause the defendant to plead guilty therefore
removing my need to appear in court.
I was relieved when a couple of minutes later, my neighbours did show up. They
had seen the defendant downstairs, this pleased me as no shows from defendants
is supposedly quite common and would mean another day in court. We were then
introduced to both the prosecutor and investigating P.C. The prosecutor
impressed me with his informal way with us non legal types. He explained clearly
what would happen and most interestingly for me, how the cross questioning from
defence would work. This worried me as he would easily establish that I couldn't
recognize the defendant from my brief view of his face.
Anyway, the intercom called for the defendant and defense / prosecuting solicitors ( or lawyers, I don't really know the difference) ; it was about to begin. About 30 minutes passed with only a bit of conversation and police banter taking my mind from my impending call to stand. Then the prosecutor returned informing my neighbours and me that we were free to leave - the defendant had done what I had hoped for days, he had pleaded guilty. Many do at the last minute when they realise a full hand of prosecutor witnesses have turned up.
So there you go, my first day in court and no court case. Just got to wait a couple of weeks now for the sentence to be announced - just about enough time for corporal punishment to be reintroduced for antisocial behaviour offences.