Wigs flew, gowns were ripped and silk breeches muddied as senior members of the British Judiciary rioted in the Inns of Court yesterday afternoon. Many Senior Judges and lawyers say they are ‘at the end of their tether’ at having to preside over criminal cases involving poor people, causing barristers to run amok in London’s famous and historic legal district.
‘I have rioted today because many of those who appear before me are, for want of a better word, plebeian,’ said Lord Justice Smythe, while biting a senior police officer. ‘Time was when judges of my stature were called upon exclusively to preside over criminal cases involving cabinet ministers’ sexual pecadilloes, or Old Etonians’ driving irregularities. Now, any Tom Dick or Harold Shipman expects to have the right to jury trial in the highest court of the land, with all the associated luxurious pomp and ceremony. In mitigation I would add that many members of the judiciary find the absence of the death penalty and corporal punishment frustrating, to the degree that many of us have to resort to special 'therapists' to relieve extra-judiciary tensions. This treatment does not come cheap.’
Lord Justice Smythe went on to praise the new fast-track justice system outsourced to G4S. The scheme means defendants can be arrested, Tasered, found guilty, Tasered again for training purposes, helped down police station steps and issued with a Vodaphone Pay as You Go tag, all within in 24 hours. Experimental hearings take place in special courts attached to supermarkets, as well as former A and E departments and motorway service stations.
‘These innovative courts are presided over by some of the most talented Public School sixth formers this country has to offer,’ said Lord Justice Smithers, while putting on special rioting brogues before going beserk outside the High Court. ‘These young people gain valuable work experience; justice is seen to be done in an appropriately public arena; supermarket shareholders benefit enormously and the lower orders receive the punishments they so richly deserve, all meted out with admirable speed and the latest technology by the private sector. To what, to coin a demotic phrase, might one take exception? Meanwhile judges of my stature can be freed to preside over the lengthy and restful multimillion pound serious fraud cases they deserve. And properly rewarded counsel on both sides no longer have to visit subterranean court cells where defendants’ sanitary arrangements leave much to be desired. Especially after the lunchtime adjournment, when Brussels sprouts have been served.’
Senior Recorder Sir Anthony Smith told Court Two at the Central Criminal Court yesterday: ‘I must, with some regret, adjourn the protracted costly and complex proceedings this afternoon to avail myself of the age-old right of unlawful assembly. It is my intention to break the window of Wine Merchant of the Year at 28 The Strand, WC1, 4EF, using an umbrella previously looted from Turnbull and Asser. I will then purloin three bottles of the much underrated 1966 Fonseca Vintage Port, before running amok down Middle Temple Lane in contravention of the Public Order Act 1978. The Clerk of the Court has kindly suggested slogans I may or may not shout while going bonkers, in a frenzy of justified rage. These may include ‘The legitimacy of some junior police officers could be called into question!’; ‘The current Justice Minister has made some controversial decisions!' and 'Who ate all the venison pies?’'