I was chairing a bench in the Youth Court yesterday where we were on the second day of a trial of a 15 year old lad for ABH.
His father had made it clear that he wasn't prepared to sit quietly and listen and when I said that we found the lad guilty he really started kicking up a fuss and informed the Bench that he would be waiting for us.
I had him ejected from the Court while we finished the case, bailing the lad pending a pre-sentence report.
That being the end of our list we were about to leave when the usher got a telephone message telling us that the father of the lad, and one of his mates, were waiting on the steps of the Court building.
Unusually, we were advised that the Police had been called as our own security staff have no authority outwith the Court and we received a Police escort from the Court to the car park. A situation I have only ever been involved in once before, in a Prevention of Terrorism Act case.
In the end, we all got on the road without further incident, although somewhat shaken.
However, I received a phone call at work this morning from the Court Centre Manager, telling me that, owing to what the bloke had said, informed by his son's own solicitor, when I'd been out of earshot, the individual concerned had been arrested and charged with threats to kill. The CCM then asking me if he could disclose my details to the Police with a view to making a statement regarding this chap's behaviour in the Court.
Threats to kill are taken seriously by the Police, especially when there are very credible witnesses, and, as you might imagine, even more so when the targets are members of the Judiciary or officers of the Court, acting in the course of their duty.
Ah well, I wonder what next week's sittings will bring.