October 17th, 2009

When Photocopying goes bad

Posted in The Job - General by 200

The Crown Prosecution Service usually come in for a lot of flak from police officers. Forget all the cases which go through smoothly, end up at court where the evidence is presented perfectly & a just outcome results, we don’t talk about those, we talk about all the cock-ups, the unreasonable expectations placed on us by the service, the jumping through unnecessary hoops, the refusal to prosecute & the poor performance in court.

Sadly, there is usually a lot to talk about with the CPS.

Five men from Walsall will be feeling quite grateful to the CPS for all the wrong reasons. They were arrested over a pub brawl back in April. The CPS were preparing papers to take them to the Crown Court.

When the case arose at a magistrates court in the West Midlands, CPS lawyers had to admit that they had not gotten round to making sufficient photocopies of the case papers to give to the defence.

Their excuse for not preparing the case properly in the six months since the offenders were arrested was that the person responsible for photocopying hasd been off sick. They asked for a further adjournment (the case had already been adjourned five times) but the magistrates declined the application & discharged the defendants.

Another victory for justice.

If only things like this were rare.

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8 comments

  1. Fee says:

    You surely don’t expect lawyers to do their own photocopying, do you? They didn’t spend all those years at Uni to press a big green button all by themselves.

    All joking aside, I worked for lawyers once (a private practice, as a poorly paid and much put upon junior) and none of the partners even knew where the copier was, far less how the run the thing. The really senior partners didn’t even know where the coffee machine was!

    October 18th, 2009 at 09:51

  2. Tom Gane says:

    As an undergraduate law student, I was lucky enough to win a placement with a firm local to me. On my first day I was eager to find my legs, and was swiftly shown the location of the photocopier, kettle, and other vital appliances. After 4 weeks hard work, I was recognised as the leading practice tea-maker.

    I know that the CPS is given many a nasty knock. Mainly because the government is in love with the idea that you can have a bargain basement prosecution service. Though now they are of the view it probably does not work, they are belatedly recruiting experienced defence lawyers. to hunt ‘with the hounds.’ One solicitor I know has happily gone to the other side, and thoroughly enjoys terrorising defendents and their lawyers in court. Trust me, this guy is a veritable Pit-Bull.

    When a failure of this magnitude comes to light, there will be resentment by the officers involved, the MOP who witnessed the offence, and the public at large, but please rest assured there are bodies busily beavering away to put the miscreants away.

    Must say it could be a lot better..

    October 18th, 2009 at 11:09

  3. PC A HUNN says:

    If it was a Cop they’d be done for neglect of duty. But as it is not then there will be no one held accountable for such blatant incompetance.

    I’ve had a few arguments with the CPS over the years about several issues and I will always remember the time when at 9.30am I stood in an office at the Mags with 12 stone bags under my eyes and was asked about minute details of the case I was there for. I replied “sorry I cannot recall much of the details as I put the file in 5 months ago”. The Lawyer replied “well you should have taken the file home to read last night like I did”. To which I replied “last night I was rolling round fighting with a drunken wife beater and spent until 2 am dealing with him”.

    Cloud fucking cuckoo land the lot of them.

    October 18th, 2009 at 14:46

  4. Blueknight says:

    I got to youth court (early) and had a quick chat with the prosecutor, asking among other things do you want me to read some any or all of the contemp. note interview.
    A blank look was returned and a few more questions revealed that th interview had been completely left off the file.
    Luckiily I still had a few minutes before Court started and I managed to get CPS to fax a copy to the Court

    October 18th, 2009 at 20:07

  5. Stan Still says:

    The CPS will blame the people who wrote the Manual of Guidance. Oh, hang on, the CPS wrote it! Quick – find out the name of the OIC, they can carry the can for this one.

    Unfortunately, the file will have been sent to the CPS electronically, in order to save paper. So the fault lies fairly and squarely at the feet of the Can’t Photocopy Service.

    Muppets.

    October 18th, 2009 at 20:10

  6. MarkUK says:

    @Tom Gane.

    If I was the police officer behind the case in question, I wouldn’t be bothered about “bodies busily beavering away”. I’d just be interested in bodies – of the CPS idiots involved.

    October 18th, 2009 at 21:02

  7. copper bottom says:

    our CPS are pretty good… I guess its like Doctors etc… depends where you are…

    October 19th, 2009 at 11:57

  8. Pedro says:

    Whilst the reason for the discontinuance in this case was shocking, there should be no problem, even now, in preparing all the paperwork to the rrquired standard, summonsing the offenders back to court and committing (or transferring) them for trial there and then. I have personal experience of a case where that very course was successfully adopted.

    CPS hadn’t forgotten to copy the papers, though…

    October 21st, 2009 at 16:22

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