Monday, 27 February 2012
My first day in court
By Karen Thomson, @KThomson1992
Stepping into the world of court reporting was a culture shock. A rite of passage for any young journalist. My first day in court opened my eyes to a very different world.
My first day in court was spent at the Glasgow Sheriff court. After a few minutes two things became clear. That accuracy was everything and no amount of books and tests can prepare you for the reality inside the courtroom.
Within the first hour I had learnt that £20 can buy you a half gram of cocaine and that drug dealers prefer to sell in bulk. No book can teach you that digital scales are a big tip off to where they hid stash of drugs and that a ‘tick list’ is used to keep track of payments made to drug dealers by their clients.
After lunch I headed over to the custody hearings. Court 4 where the custody hearings are held gives off a very Dickensian feel. The accused stand behind glass as they wait to hear their verdict.
Within the hour there had been a total of 8 hearings. Everything from breach of probation to assault where being heard by the Sheriff. Ranging from the ages of 18-38 only two where refused bail. Each hearing lasted an average of 12 minutes.
Decisions were made swift and fast – then the next case would appear. It was justice on a conveyor belt.
Copyright remains with the author.