This morning I was supposed to have a trial. I didn't have a trial because the CPS didn't serve the evidence which they were directed to serve two months ago. There was a specific court order telling them to serve it. They didn't. Instead, when they found out that their copy of the evidence didn't work (it was a CCTV recording) they just decided not to rely on it, and claimed that made everything OK.
When the CPS breach their disclosure obligations (which they had clearly done here) they are supposed to apply for an adjournment and if that is refused they are supposed to offer no evidence, and the case is dismissed. What they do instead, is lie, claim they haven't breached their disclosure obligations, refuse to offer no evidence, and the defence have to apply for the adjournment. That's what I did. The case was adjourned.
I went back to the office, and reviewed the batch of legal aid cuts that will be introduced in January. These introduce a flat, greatly reduced, fee for nearly all magistrates trials. Solicitors who get cases adjourned because the CPS haven't served the evidence that could exonerate their client, will swiftly go bankrupt as a result. In fact, solicitors who do any work on their cases at all will swiftly go bankrupt. The only way to stay in business will be deal with a large number of cases and pressure all your clients into pleading guilty. If you think that is a result which the government has achieved by accident, then you're a f***ing idiot.
When I left the office I didn't go home. Instead, I added an hour to my journey by driving in the opposite direction to go and feed a client's cats. He got remanded a few days ago. The police suffered one of their frequent not-my-job-can't-be-arsed attacks and left his cats in situ. It's not my job either, but the RSPCA and Cats Protection will only take them if he signs them over for permanent re-homing, which seems a bit harsh as he hasn't been convicted of anything yet, and even if he was agreeable, he can't do anything right now because he's in prison. So I went and fed the cats, because no one else was willing to.
Don't worry, though. This sort of thing won't be the case for long. I'll be out of a job in a few months. Even if my firm manages to win a contract this autumn, no one who does the job well will be able to make a living at it post-January. The only advice you'll get after that is Plead Guilty, but it won't be from me. And there's no chance at all that anyone will feed your cats.
I'm not a good person. A lot of people I know are good people and they don't wish retribution on those who are creating this situation.
I'm not a good person, though. I do wish it. I wish for everyone who voted for this government to be arrested and charged with something they didn't do. I wish for them to fall into the meat grinder that our justice system is becoming. I wish for them to suffer the trauma and stress and injustice that they were content to inflict on others because they didn't think it would happen to them.
It won't though. The system works, you see. The system is that if you keep about a third of the country comfortable, you can pay for it with the blood and misery of the rest, and still keep getting elected.
Whether or not you put your d**k into a pig's head doesn't really come into it." ______________________________________________
Perfect and brilliant - says it all, so I won't say much more.
However it struck me that to give this some legs in the transient world of social media Phil should get credit for creating a "meme" (as I believe they call it). Feeding the cat can now stand for the hundred and one unpaid bits and pieces legal aid lawyers do for their clients every day. So please post your examples in this thread - I have one from today to throw up later.