Tag Archives: court

Love For Sale

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The remaining tenant proved the hardest nut to crack. They went at him day and night – an assault of white noise and legal taunts.

Old before his time, he shuffled to the courthouse and made his last stand:

‘I proposed to my wife in this home, toiled for forty years to keep it, and found a widower’s solace here. Please…’

A quadrupled offer finally dislodged him.

He withdrew from the courthouse and disappeared into the crowd, re-emerging many thousands of miles away – a skip in his step.

His wife came to the chalet door. He showed her a cheque for an insane amount of money.

‘Suckers!”

 

Written for: Friday Fictioneers

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The Cream of British Justice (You Can’t Handle The Truth: Part 2)

‘Good luck in court tomorrow,’ my colleague deliberately shouted as he stepped out of the train.

I met the gaze of a fellow tube traveller; an enormous mountain of a man. He immediately averted his eyes.

You’re damn right I’m a murderer, I thought. Don’t you be looking at me boy!

There’s a tactic I’ll be utilising again in future!

So today rolled around and found me driving through the drizzle to Oxford Magistrates Court and to the concluding  part of my epic fight for freedom (challenging a speeding fine).

As with my previous court appearance the greatest challenge involved getting into the building. I checked my reflection in the mirror (‘Good, not covered in blood like last time’: A Few Good Men). img_0011Now just the small matter of negotiating a metal detector. Despite emptying my pockets I set off the machine twice. With a queue forming behind me I identified the cause – a small tube with the words ANTI-IMFLAMMATORY emblazoned along the side. In the heat of the moment I could only conjure humiliating reasons why I would need said cream and where it would need to be applied. (To be clear, it’s for my finger. FINE! DON’T believe me!) I shamefully gathered up my things whilst holding up belt less trousers and scurried to the reception.

‘How do you plead?’ asked the receptionist.

‘Not guilty.’

Really? Are you sure? When presented with the evidence most people tend to change their plea. Would you like to change your plea, and would you like to fill in a means form?’

‘No I wouldn’t and what’s a means form?’

‘If you don’t wish to change your plea then don’t worry about the form.’

Now I was worried (Thank God I had that cream!)

To recap: It wasn’t the speeding ticket I was challenging, it was that the only letter I ever received about it was a huge fine for ignoring the previous letter(s). My defence (such as it was) was that I live at number 11, that on my street there is 11, 11a, 11 flat a, and flat b as well as another 11 on an identically named street across town, and that post is going missing all the time.

I was trying to work out whether or not to broach the fact that the other number 11 is a hairdressers without appearing facetious (‘Imagine that…me…a bald man…getting sent bottles of peroxide…for hair…when I haven’t even…is this mike on?’)

My ultimate fallback position was that, in this Post-fact Trump era, I judge my speed by an alternative metric, but if it got to that point I fully recognised that I was in deep shit!

‘MARTIN…’

I stood up.

…A different surname.

I sat down again; my nerves shredded.

(Note: I started writing this bit whilst inside the waiting area, but stopped because A. I thought it might end badly, and B. I kept accidentally turning on the speech functionality on my phone and had horrific visions of standing in the dock and having a metallic voice blurt out of my pocket GUILTY – AS – SIN!)

‘MARTIN KAH…MARTIN KOH…’

Jeez, every friction day! ‘CORORAN,’ I replied and rose to my feet.

I walked into a split level room with two magistrates on a raised platform above me. It was all over in a flash.

‘How do you plead?’

‘Just to be clear, I’m pleading not guilty to not identifying myself as the driver (Double-negative – the vernacular of the criminal fraternity), but as previously stated, I’m sure it was me driving the car.’

‘In that case we’ll forego this charge (6 points / £800) and go with the original speeding charge (3 points / £100). How do you plead?’

‘…Guilty.’

‘Thank you. The court official will show you out.’

I was a little dismayed at not having had the opportunity to trot out my flimsy defence, but mostly I was relieved. Emerging into the reception and meeting the gazes of the other be-track-suited defendants who (let’s face it) ALL did it, I gave serious consideration to punching the air and jubilantly shouting ‘GUILTEEEEEEEEEEEY!’

I can only imagine how many driving offences I committed on the way home…

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You Can’t Handle The Truth…

I had to go to court today to challenge a speeding fine. I wasn’t contesting my innocence (it was definitely me). I was claiming that I’d never received the initial accusation or subsequent reminders that had ultimately led to an epic fine. My reasonable but ultimately embarrassing defence: That I’d been caught speeding two other times that year and had responded promptly on both occasions.

Having never been to court before I didn’t realise that I’d need to go through an airport-style security check / metal detector. They let me keep the guitar strings (garrotte) that I’d just bought, but confiscated a sachet of Lemsip (pledging that I could have it back afterwards).

‘Are you aware that you have blood all over your face and shirt?’ one of the guards asked.

‘No, is there a lot?’

‘Quite a bit.’

‘Do you have a mirror?’

He frowned.

Martin Cororan to court 7,’ came over the Tannoy.

‘Is there a sink I could use to make myself more presentable?’

‘There’s a loo just over there, but they don’t like to be kept waiting. Court 7’s at the end.’

I made a beeline for the bathroom and surveyed the damage – two shaving cuts and three large (five-pence piece) blots on my collar (no wonder the guy in the guitar shop gave me a protracted grimace!) Furious scrubbing made the horror less obvious, but now I was soaking wet.

As I exited I was struck by just how much sexually graphic graffiti there was on the inside door. It would seem the one place you’d wish to avoid being caught casting dispersions regarding who had a penchant for fellatio, but hey-ho.

There were three magistrates in the courtroom sitting behind a long table. I was asked to step into the dock whereupon I instantly became guilty of all things.

My voice sounded calm as I answered their initial questions.

Just like a sociopath  I thought. If I were them I’d think ‘That guy incurred those cuts having crashed his car whilst speeding to attend the hearing. Lets lock him up forever…’

Proceedings went a little sideways when I was asked when the offence occurred. I didn’t know the exact date and neither did they (as the records were held elsewhere). I was asked to hazard a guess.

I was then asked how I wished to plead in relation to the charge of speeding.

In the surreal moment of being before three people, two of whom had not looked at me once and in a slightly elevated isolated booth I felt the question was a little ambiguous. Was this the first part of a two-part question?

‘How do you mean?’ I asked like an imbecile. ‘I’m guilty of driving over the limit.’

‘Over the limit?’

‘The speed limit.’

It was clarified for me. ‘The speeding fine has been set aside Mr. Cororan.’

‘…Which I’m guilty of.’

‘Yes.’

‘In that case, not guilty.’

The Cororan Defence: Proving your innocence of one crime by revealing you’re way more guilty of another…

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