Judge Told to Bugger Off
There were scenes of confusion at Rutland Crown Court yesterday when angry defendant Carl Spanners told the judge to 'bugger off', and he did. This is thought to be the first time that a sitting judge has acted upon the instruction of a defendant, and there are concerns that this may set a legal precedent.
As a serving police officer, Constable Gavin Trotter has attended many criminal hearings, either as a witness, as a police escort or, occasionally, as a defendant. He was present in court on this occasion and was stunned by what took place.
"I was proper gobsmacked," he told us. "It ain't unusual for a felon to get a bit lippy, but it's nothing that a belt around the back of the 'ead wiv a truncheon won't fix. And if fings get really rowdy the judge can always clear the court, and that gives us an opportunity to go to town on the scumbag good and proper, like. One time, I even seen a judge hitch up his robes and get stuck in himself. But this... Well, it makes you wonder what the world is coming to, don't it?"
According to reports, the incident happened after Mr Spanners became quite excitable in response to the prosecution's line of questioning. The judge, Mr Ernest Barrow QC, interceded to request that the defendant refrain from raising his voice, at which point Mr Spanners told him, "Bugger off and bother someone else, you ponced-up ermine-clad transvestite." Mr Barrow then got to his feet, said calmly, "Very well," then left. He has not been seen since.
"It seems that Mr Barrow has not merely buggered off - he has, to use the correct statutory phrase, buggered right off," said legal historian and commentator Giles Tremble. "In fact, to my knowledge, there has never been a case in which the judge has buggered off to this extent before. The closest comparable episode was in 1856 when a magistrate temporarily went missing during a boundary dispute, but was discovered three hours later hiding behind a curtain in a snooker hall.
"However," Mr Tremble continued, "perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by these latest events. Ernest Barrow is a stickler for process and notoriously thorough, so if he feels that it is his constitutional duty to bugger off, then he's going to bloody well bugger off properly."
All this means that the case of Her Majesty versus Carl Spanners will have to be abandoned and a retrial will be ordered. It is not known whether the defendant will use the 'bugger off' defence again, but experts believe that since it has already proven so effective, there's really no reason why he wouldn't.