Go To Court
A great way to pass some time if you find yourself at a loose end in York, is to go and sit in on one of the court cases at either York Magistrates Court or the York Crown Court. I’ve never been in a court room before – only getting excited at the prospect of ‘Guilty!’ or ‘Not Guilty!’ and wigs and solemnly swearing and juries that appear on television. However, for a couple of hours on a Friday morning, I found myself seeing these court associated things for myself.
First up was supposedly a ‘middle class business man’ who kept lots of taser guns in his garage that had been illegally ordered from the US and stuffed awkwardly through his letter box. The first question is how this guy even managed to get the taser guns through customs, the second question is why, he if needed them for ‘protection’, as he was claiming, were they kept in his garage and not his bedside table?
The guy was told that as long as he behaved and did his 150 hours community service, he wouldn’t have to go to prison – however if he misbehaved/didn’t do his community work he would get two years in prison. As he left the crown court, the local newspaper’s photographer snapped some photos of him through the trees and he started shouting and protesting ‘you cant do that!’ and he was a ‘respectable business man’ and didn’t want people seeing his photograph. It was all quite exciting and amusing!
Other people up for trial that day was a man who had bitten another and was receiving psychiatric help. Another was this very creepy looking man who had sent sex-messages to a girl of 14 over the internet. The girl’s parents were watching the case and I felt for them. If my daughter had received messages from the man I was watching in the dock, I would have wanted to throttle him with my own bare hands.
All in all it was an interesting morning. I didn’t really see any ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty’ cases – most of them were adjourned for a later date to wait for more evidence or more information or something which was a bit boring. However, I got to see the inside of a courtroom and the lady I was with even showed me the ghost of a judge who was most definitely there! It looked like this ‘ghost’ could have been marks in the woodwork of the wall, however she assured me that the ‘marks’ had tried to be removed but to no avail. And, despite my best intentions, I could definitely see a judge! Creepy.