Stories categorized “Courts”:

The achievements of justice

Published April 2004.

There is order in the court. There is chaos on the streets. And they meet in the main hall of Thames magistrates court in the East End of London. It is busting with people – this guy made of muscle yelling at his tiny female lawyer “This is MY case, this is MY life”; the elegant Somali man with the beautiful black suit cruising quite lost through the crowd without a word of English to find his way; the young Bengali lad who just blew a spliff in the toilets; the prosecutor reading “God Knows” by Joseph Heller; the little knot of regular defence lawyers, Charlie and Teresa and Denis and Keith, swapping the gossip and wondering how long it will be before somebody tells them the new security code for the door to their room so they can finally start work for the day.

Disorder in the court system

Published April 2004.

Joey Ganguli is at it all the time. He lives and breathes and earns his rolls of cash right in the middle of the Asian gang wars which run through criminal life in the East End of London like beach life runs through Blackpool.

Punished for being poor

Published April 2004.

For £400, Allan Seymour would stop breaking the law. He’s been breaking it now for 34 years. He’s been punished with fines, punished in the community, punished in prison. Everybody is always telling him they’re going to rehabilitate him – he’s done all the courses. But here he is: 53 years old and up in court yet again. All for want of £400.

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