In the Media

Court Performance

PUBLISHED September 14, 2012

The Ministry of Justice will shortly be publishing sentencing remarks along with court "performance? figures.

Squirrel Nutkin and Felix Mansfield are on the first floor of Camberwell Green court, staring at the Camberwell Wall of Nonsense. They are gobsmacked. What was four square metres of implausible HMCTS performance, spin and pie charts is now transformed into a giant Xbox.

A 21st Century Interactive Court Experience! Follow Your Favourite Bench As They Tackle The Challenge Of Today?s Remand List! Who?s in court? What?s the charge? Press "Start? now !

Dubiously, Squirrel does so.

The screen shows a SERCO officer injecting a comatose figure with coffee.

Squirrel Nutkin: My client Norbert Pilfer! Didn?t know he was in the cells!

Felix Mansfield: Neither does he...

Squirrel Nutkin: OK. Oh God, why hast thou forsaken me? Again? Who am I in front of?

Wobbles joystick. The bloodless face of DJ Voldemort smiles from the screen.

Squirrel Nutkin: He Who Must Not Be Named! He must be here on a day trip to scare DJ Cuddles. More wobbling reveals court 2?s lay bench in action. The chairperson?s current performance is displayed behind her on the court video screen.

Celia Watervole
Seeded: No. 643
Guidelines Hit Rate: 61%
Latest Form: "Could do better?- HHJ Shrew, ILCC, 29/8/13
Career High: " The day I understood the Dangerous Dogs Act?
Career Low - " What the **** was she thinking!?-LCJ Penguin (R v Camberwell JJ ex p Thug)
Chambers 500: " Not so much wet as dripping?
Today?s figures: RIC: 5; Bail: 0; Custodial
Sentences: 6; Community Penalties: 0.

Squirrel Nutkin: Time to switch Norbert to court 2, time to smarm a list caller...

Felix Mansfield: Won?t work, Squirrel. She?s normally pretty fluffy but look at today?s stuff. Pure porridge; ABH, Voldemort?s kicking her backside and Norbert?s form is thicker than the Office Manual.

Squirrel Nutkin: Cynic! Just watch court 2 this afternoon!

Later, in court 2

Marty Mole (list caller): Sorry madam, Mr Nutkin is in the youth court.

Later still Marty Mole: He was in the cells, Madam, but I can?t find him now.

Finally, at 4.29 pm

Celia Watervole: Mr Nutkin has said all he possibly could...disgusting act of violence...cannot condone...

Wanda Rabbit (legal adviser): Are you thinking of custody, Madam?

Celia Watervole: He?s wandering down the road with the victim?s bloodstained trousers in his hand, what do you think we are going to give him, an ice cream?

Wanda Rabbit: (as if addressing a moronic 10-yearold) DJ Voldermort has wildly overshot our custody allocation. Forgotten the HMCTS final seasons figures are out tomorrow? That Camberwell is one short on its target on unpaid work? That we are tied with Skegness and facing relegation to the Ryanair League?  Their court 3 has just retired on a shoplifting.

Celia Watervole: (steeling herself) Not a Community Penalty Shoot Out?

Wanda Rabbit: (solemn pause) Your worships must score on the last case.

Celia Watervole: You mean...?

Wanda Rabbit: It is, of course, a matter for your discretion. To assist you, there are 30 seconds of extra time.

Squirrel Nutkin: (triumphantly) Further, my client didn?t feed his goldfish before he was arrested and fears for its long-term well-being, should he receive a custodial sentence.

Celia Watervole: Given that last information, Mr Nutkin, we feel able to order 40 hours unpaid work.

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