Last week I visited court with Sophie and Georgia to find out that all the crown court public gallery's were busy, due to a 'educational visit'. We were asked if we were part of a group, which we wasn't. And we were told the day we had chosen wasn't a very interesting day in terms of new cases.
We arrived around lunchtime as well, most cases were breaking for lunch. We did manage to sit in one case but the barrister wanted to break for more questioning of the witnesses and then go on a lunch break. The judge in this court wasn't wearing a wig and there was no jury therefore this was a civil case in a magistrates court. It seemed to be about a dispute about a car accident, but I couldn't work out what was going on.
So today I re-visited court with Sophie, we arrived hoping to see a good case. When you enter the crown court in Winchester you feel slightly out of place. The place seems quite empty, and quiet like a library. The atmosphere it tense, you can tell this is serious place. We had our bags searched and headed to the courts.
After entering empty courts we eventually found one court that had an interesting case, Court 4. This time there was a judge, a male judge wearing a wig! And there was a Jury of 12 people, they all did well to show no expression so its hard to make out what they are thinking. There was a witness in the dock opposite giving evidence of an event. The case was about a man charged with common assault. This case was in its second day, there had already been witnesses from the day before. We heard two witnesses speak, one statement from a victim who was kicked by the man and one from a policeman. The policeman also had evidence and showed the Jury the baseball bat.
There were two barristers one for the defendant and one for the witnesses. The barrister defending the man accused seemed quite sarcastic and asked questions like 'and you could see in the dark?'
There was a lot going on with this case, I really enjoyed listening to the statements.
Obviously now the Jury need to decide whether the evidence is enough proof to prove that there is 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the man is guilty. In the mean time the defendant is treated with innocence until proven guilty.