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Road rage.


I was at Court the other day, waiting (and waiting and waiting) for a directions hearing. (always beg to be listed or at least called before the family cases).

It was a possession day, so the place was crowded. In strutted/waddled two men, one older, with fresh scabbing on the long scars on his face, one younger, a 6 foot testimony to lager and fast food. They had clearly been through this before, as they found their usher straight away, but were unrepresented.

Mr Carbohydrate then stood by a window. It was a very hot day, but no, he was keeping an eye on his car. About 30 mins later, with a shout of “bastard’s writing a ticket” he hurtled outside, surprisingly rapidly.

His return was dramatic. “Fuckin’ bastard, arse, I’ll fuckin’ have ‘im. I’ll twat the bastard”. His mate then left with him.

Their case was called, and went.

Half an hour later, they were back, with three police. Three more police waited with a van outside. A quick chat between police and usher and away they all went.

I had to ask. Innocently wandering past the usher, I nodded at the exit and asked “possession hearing?”. “Anti-social behaviour, outright possession”.

Ticket/Home. Difficult choice.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. John

    Ha! Well funny. My amusement is however tempered somewhat by the suspicion that had the defendant instructed a representative and actually made the hearing they would probably have sworn blind the allegations of anti-social behaviour were unfounded.

    In a past life I worked in social housing and the most annoying thing was when you suspected a tenant/housing applicant was lying but couldn’t evidence it.

    Now as a paralegal I sometimes have the same suspicion about some (albeit a minority) of my clients. Most worrying is when you encounter a person who can’t tell you the truth because they don’t even know it themselves. Many a time after meeting a new client I’ve concluded the need for psychoanalysis is more pressing than the need for legal advice.

  2. contact

    Given this was in full view of the usher, I suspect any representative mught have advised the client that outright denial was not a good strategy.

    Oddly enough, I was discussing ASB defences with a colleague a day or two ago, precisely about the clients’ insistence on outright denial when it is clear that a) there have been problems and b) the landlord is likely to establish this, at least in part. Still, instructions are instructions. This is one reason I don’t particularly enjoy ASB possession cases, for all that they are a challenge.

    I know full well what you mean about the clients with, shall we say, an entirely situational approach to the truth, even to themselves.


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