Monday, 16 March 2009

Don't like it

I am not sure that I quite like the exercise I am currently working on, and have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I have a very strong desire to restrict my submission to a single line 'I have nothing to add your honour'

I am representing a young lad who has beaten up a gang rival in a pub fight. The other side want to bring in evidence of him having been previously arrested and convicted for being drunk, and for fighting, and for drunken fighting, and being a general tosser. They think it will convince the jury that he is a bad'un, a naughty boy that has a propensity for getting drunk and fighting.

I am arguing for the poor lad, sticking up for him because nobody else will, but he is a scumbag drunken twat. I know it has to be done, and innocent until proven guilty and all that, but he is soooo guilty that bad character evidence or not, he did it. I can smell the alcohol on his breath and I haven't even met him yet.

Give me five minutes with him in a cell, and he won't be drinking anything except through a straw, M'lud.

Criminal Law is just not for me i am afraid. Any areas of law that involve pressing pretty wild flowers and making daisy chains?

I just don't like it.


Lost said...

Just try and convince the judge that whatever they are trying to admit in evidence is Bad Character, then the prosecution have to work harder to get it in..

Android said...

Just pretend you're in a film. :P

Bar Boy said...

Me neither, young Swiss, me neither. The alleged appeal of the criminal law remains an utter mystery to me. Come to think of it, criminal practitioners are similarly unfathomable.

barmaid said...

Swizzle, what's the matter with you for goodness sake? Get stuck in and present the evidence and let the tribunal decide on culpability, you're trying to be judge, jury AND advocate.

Goodness me, you Southern boys are such snobs at times, me thinks you need a weekend in Doncaster to toughen you up :-)

Swiss Tony said...

Lost, I get the impression that what you say will work in court, but not in the classroom. I suspect that my 'Go on then, prove it' comment will not go down too well with teach.

Andropov, good idea. I will make my submission in a wheelchair and pretend I am Ironside. Or was it Columbo? I will wear a dirty mac (Just like Bar Boy always does) and just as the judge is about to deliver the verdict I will say 'Oh, just one thing....' and get him off. Oh sod it, I will be Gene Genie from Ashes to Ashes and just give him a kicking.

BB, with you there mate. Its all a mystery.

BM, I would rather go to Wormwood Scrubs with my client than spend a weekend in Doncaster! Last time I ventured 'Up North', to Luton I got in a fight with some real rough types. Those nuns know how to fight up there.

I do have an update to my poor client. I discovered on the last page of the evidence I was given, that he was visiting his dear old Nan at an old peoples home at the time of the fight, and has 20 witnesses to prove it.

Admittedly, they are all suffering from alzheimers, but my poor innocent client never done it, its a stitch up mate, he was never there.

Don't you just love the twists and turns of criminal law, that gets dodgy scumbag villians off on a technicality.

The whole thing just makes me feel dirty.

I am off to collect buttercups for my collection.


Law Minx said...

Naw, I dont much like Crim either, Swiss, but, at a common law set it does rather tend to represent the crust upon which the happless junior tennant teeths, and, indeed survives ( though God knows how)until such time as his or her fame related to matters dear to the junior spread to instructing solicitors.
Its either that, or get thee to a specialist set as fast as thine legs will carry thee.....!

Bar Boy said...

Swiss, not that us soft southern sissies aren't suitably impressed with you venturing as far north as Luton, but I can better that. I recently went even further up't north, all the way to Coventry. It was, as you would expect, a strange place where the locals all talk funny and are, as my nan would say, a bit on the slow side. Being unable to converse with the indigenous population, I cannot be sure, but I suspect many of them are criminal lawyers.

barmaid said...

Quite right that Southern boys should be sent to Coventry. Swizz of course can't venture too far north, it seems that being called a 'frump' offends him and being of a rather sensitive nature, he just can't cope with Northern humour (or fashion).

p.s Swizz, my security word is 'chazinge'. I'm chazinge pupillage, quite posh don't you think!?

p.p.s. Some idiot has mended our church bell and has been ringing it all bleedin' morning, can someone please shoot him/her?

Lost said...

Hmm.. if you can wait a day I could give you perhaps more helpful advice?
Though I only study evidence in theory form though also taught by a criminal barrister... could help out if you emailed me the problem

Swiss Tony said...

Hey Lost, I really appreciate the offer, especially when giving you my EU revision notes only confused you, but my problem is just that I can't summon any enthusiasm for defending the dregs of society. My scumbag client was so obviously guilty, until I discovered he was innocent, that I hated what I was working on.

That said, its a brilliant exercise to demonstrate innocent until proven guilty, but it is also a good example of 'once a scumbag, always a scumbag' Dish out a bit of Swish justice and the world would be a better place. he may be innocent this time, but he is usually guilty as hell.

BM, my client could probably shoot your bellringer for a case of Stella. You can visit him in Belmarsh to negotiate terms. (Assume you have done negotiation!)

BB, Coventry? Blimey, thats near Scotland isn't it?

barmaid said...

I'm afraid we haven't done Negotiation yet, for the moment I have to make do with crying if I don't get my own way, but I'm told this isn't how negotiation works on BVC?

Someone must have kindly taken me up on my shooting offer, it's been quiet all afternoon, not even a little tinkle:-) Bloke just staggered past the church with a rifle and a nosebleed, I'm told this sometimes happens when Southerners venture north, must be the altitude or perhaps the clean air?

Bar Boy said...

Swiss, I've heard of Scotland. No idea where it is, but I do know that people from Scotland don't live in Scotland. This is because they all live in London, where they are forever telling me how great Scotland is. I tell them I will go there when they do.

Swiss Tony said...

BM, I think crying in Negotiation if you don't get your won way is a pretty clever trick. I tried it and I got the sympathy vote. Its not in the text books, but it works. Trust me.

As for who shot the bellringer, it wasn't my client. He has another alibi. He was under arrest for beating up another gang member, so was in custody all morning.

BB, My Dad went to Edinburgh and he said it was empty. They must all be in London then.