'The Crime File' series - the courts

The achievements of justice...

The Guardian, April 13 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...

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Punished for being poor

The Guardian, April 14 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 that 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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The probation service collapses into chaos

The Guardian, April 14 2004

Senior probation officers have told the Guardian that some life prisoners are being kept behind bars for two or three years too long, simply because their overstretched service cannot provide the reports which the parole board needs to consider their release.

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Disorder in the courts - and the local gang boss walks free

The Guardian, April 15 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.

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