R v Upward (Day 1)
Luke Upward’s trial on firearms and criminal damage charges was originally set down for Mr Justice Ongart-Wylight. But he was suspended from the bench (an unpleasant mediaeval punishment) as the result of an indiscretion in the robing room with his “legal assistant extraordinary”, Wendy Lytezarlow. The trial was therefore re-assigned to Mr Justice Cocklecarrot, finally released from his previous case by the death of the last of the twelve Red-Bearded Dwarfs.
Before any legal or even procedural proceedings could begin, or rather, commence, Cocklecarrot was surprised to see a neatly-dressed but villainous-looking man striding pompously about his courtroom with no apparent interference. “Usher!” he cried, “Why is the defendant not confined to the dock?” The man replied, somewhat testily, “If it please your Lordship, I am Mr Hardy Prodnose, and I appear for the prosecution in this case.”
“Where’s your wig?”
“By kind dispensation of the Lord Chancellor, m’lud, I am excused a wig owing to a lifelong allergy to horsehair.”
“Allergic to horsehair, Mr Prodnose? It’s as well for you that this is not the court of equi-ty.” (LAUGHTER) Cocklecarrot searched through some papers. Eventually he found what he wanted behind his trusted copy of Every Boy’s Guide To Criminal Procedure (in the pirated edition by the Narkover Press.) “It says here that prosecuting counsel is Miss Gloria Mundy.”
“She was taken ill on the way to the courtroom, m’lud.”
“Indeed? Evidently a case of sick transit, Gloria Mundy.” (LAUGHTER) “And who is the distinguished-looking gentleman surrounded by an ominous quantity of bundles?”
“If it please Your Lordship, I am Mr Luke Upward and I appear both as myself and for myself.”
Cocklecarrot paled. “You’re conducting your own defence? Do you know anything of legal procedure?”
“No, m’lud, but I am a freeborn Englishman who believes that justice will always light a pathway through the labyrinths of the law.”
“This boy’s a fool,” muttered the judge in a surprisingly good imitation of the popular entertainer, Mr Eric Morecambe. (LAUGHTER) The case would continue.