Many apologies or not updating you sooner on this case. (Don't know what I'm talking about and new to the blog? Click here!)
Had this email from the lovely Jill last night...
"Peter was due to attend Horsham Magistrates Court at 10am last Monday 4th Feb, which he duly did. This time, I was in the UK, so I went with him! Wow, what an eye opener! The first hitch was that Peter's name was not on the list at Horsham Magistrates Court for the day's hearings!?! Rather strange we thought, as we had the letter confirming the date and time from the court with us. However, the Court Usher was really helpful, and found out that he was meant to be at Crawley Magistrates Court at 2.15pm that afternoon. It wasn't very helpful that they hadn't informed us or the Bulldog! (Ed's note: that's the pet name for their solicitor.) Yet again, a case of Peter not having 'crystal ones'!
"So, we drove home for a quick cup of tea, and presented ourselves at Crawley early. What a difference from Horsham........at Crawley we had to go through a metal detector, and have all our bags searched!!! Rather like going to work for me then - just didn't have to have all my liquids in a plastic bag & in 100ml containers! Anyway, we met up with Charmaine - our barrister, who is really lovely. She had prepared a ream of legal reasons why the three doggie id parades should not be used as evidence, and various other legal issues.
"Peter was called into the court, and I went into the public gallery. Wow....it really is another world! Peter had to be locked into the dock.......a rather large secure, bullet proof (with metal grating on the top) wooden box. I found it very scary, and he looked very small in it! Anyway, Charmaine (barrister) then presented the legal arguments to the Circuit Judge who was sitting - no Magistrate for us!!! - and gave a copy to the Prosecutor. This seemed to take for ages, and at the end of it all, the Judge said that he would have to take away all the documents and statements of witnesses and read through them and give his judgment on the legality of them all. The Judge is going to make his decision by next Monday 11th Feb, and apparently Peter doesn't have to be there, but, obviously he will! I am going to be at work, so will be on tenterhooks at 35,000 feet!
"Charmaine felt that it was much better for us that the Circuit Judge was there rather than a Magistrate, as he obviously is more up on the ins and outs of the law.
"We were chatting to the Court Usher, and he really couldn't believe what a waste of tax payers money this all is, but none of us can understand why this has gone so far - I am still waiting for the reason to emerge!
"Well, after three days at work and only one night's sleep, I am really tired, and going to bed!!"
I've left out a few of the technical legal points in Jill's email as being this close to court it would be silly to give away the best defence arguments before hand, but as ever it does seem these poor dogs have no case to answer. Thankfully they now have legal aid, after appealing - so at last things seem to be going their way!
Will let you know more news as I hear it. We'll be thinking of Jill & Peter on Monday and hoping that at last someone will see sense and call this off!