having dragged myself to Court, I was met by a long line of unhappy appellants, witnesses and even more unhappy representatives (the appellants and witnesses were obviously not happy with the representatives, and the representatives were not happy with being there)
Following on from my success with the deaf man of Africa, I received a further brief from the solicitors, I hoped that it might be a proper appeal or failing that a case with some merit. It was another bail application.
The solicitor obviously thought that I weave some magic over the appellant's case. Oh dear.
While it is true that my ego informs me that on a good day I could get the devil out of hell, I was concerned that this client was not going to be sprung from detention.
Unfortunately for him he had been stopped upon entry as a student, and found to have two other passports from G. One had his photo, but not his name. The other was apparently his brother. He had no, and I mean no eplanation as to how they had found their way into his luggage.
His wife attended with his baby son (or at least I think it was his son, it was small and in neutral clothes, I am no expert on babies), and his "adopted" son (her other child). Both children had, what is termed in the trade, as a good pair of lungs. I was later to find out where they had acquired them.
The Judge received me pleasantly, the usher informed me that my previous appearance had been noted
"no one else talks to the Judges like that"
The appellant had a pleasant way of smiling and speaking words in a fashion that can only be described as random. It only seemed like he was making sense. It took a few minutes to realise that the sentences were a collection of words grouped together with various emotive hand gestures. This was probably not the best way of trying to explain how two passports found there way into his bag, indeed after 10 minutes the Judge informed me that he had ceased making notes as it was pointless as he had no idea what the clietn was talking about.
"Did you know about the two passports in your bag?"
"Have you seen them before?"
long discoursive ramble (tautaulogous?)
"When were first aware that you had the two passports?"
"After customs found the dried fish I was bringing for my wife...
"Yes, fish, for my wife"
At this point every fibre in my body wanted to ask what type of fish it was, close to the line sail I but...
"You accept that you packed the fish but you do not accept that you packed the passports?"
"No the fish was in the big bag" (suitcase)(must have been a big fish)
My client was unsurprisingly refused bail and the fish was confiscated (it cannot have been a well fish, it had come from G. to Libya and then onto Gatwick in a suitcase)
I suggested to my client that it was perhaps folly to seek to import fish and fake passports on the same occasion as one was highly likely to lead to the others' discovery.
The Judge allowed his wife to enter the Court with his two children for them to have a (brief) reunion, the Judge taking the sensible step of retiring.
The wife promptly burst into tears, did not speak to her husband and then threw herself on the floor wailing loudly. One of the security guards (noted for the tact, charm and people skills) asked me if I could stop her crying. No, you want her to stop you stop her.
He did not she wailed on and was asked to leave and he went back to detention, probably in time for lunch, which was hopefully not seafood.