This one is not mine but nonetheless, I think it might appeal.
Apparently, a few days ago, while I was away in Devon, one of my colleagues was sitting in Court.
As she headed for the car to drive into the city, a neighbour, whom she barely knew by sight, ran up the her and asked if she was heading into the city and when given the affirmative, he begged a lift, acknowledging that this was an unusual request, from somebody she had never been introduced to but she could see that he was clearly distressed and so agreed.
During the drive he seemed keen to explain that he was going to his trial at the Magistrates' Court on a charge of burglary of commercial premises but his car refused to start. Somewhat taken aback, she did little more than a conciliatory grunt as he continued in what became a diatribe against the Judiciary in general, and Magistrates and solicitors (including his own he said) specifically.
It seemed that he had little regard for the system, stating that it was so easy to pull the wool over the eyes of solicitors and Magistrates that it was like taking candy from a bab (sic).
Helen suggested that he seemed to have actually committed the offence as charged and he readily agreed, further stating that there was no chance he would be found guilty as he could easily gain the sympathy of the Bench whom he described as a "load of dozy old farts".
You can see where this is going can't you? There was a lot more that he had to say but no need to repeat it verbatim.
Helen dropped him off outside the Magistrates' Court entrance before proceeding to the Civic Centre car park.
On arrival in the Magistrates' common room, Helen checked her list for the day and sure enough, she was in a trials Court and one of the cases was a commercial burglary.
She explained to the Legal Advisor what had happened, in the absence of her wingers and that in all probability she would have to recuse herself from the case.
However, with a curiously perverse sense of humour she decided not to do so until she had seen the defendant and was sure it was the same individual.
Once the Bench were seated, she asked the Legal Advisor to call on the first case and as if by magic, the person she had driven in to Court with appeared.
Apparently, he looked at the Bench somewhat puzzled and confused as if he felt he should know somebody up there... and slowly, very slowly, the penny dropped and I am told that his face was a picture, varying between terror, resignation, anger, embarrassment all in the space of a few seconds.
After allowing time for the awful truth to sink in fully, Helen declared to both advocates that she had sufficient knowledge of the defendant as to make it impossible for her to chair the trial.
As an afterthought, she added to the defendant's advocate, that he might want to confirm his client's confidence in his ability properly to defend the man.
With that, the Bench rose and Helen swapped with another chairman who had been informed that just such an eventuality might occur.
At lunchtime, the trial having finished and the defendant found guilty, she explained what had happened to the Bench who eventually heard the trial in the justices dining room. The chairman told her that the same defence advocate would be re-appearing in another trial that afternoon and he was quite keen to explain to the advocate just why the original chairman had recused herself
As an adjunct, although the defendant had scant regard for the ability of Magistrates to get at the truth, his record of previous convictions did not agree with his rhetoric, being such that he would inevitably be going to prison. Ooops.