I think I’m now allowed to say that for the last week I have been under oath to provide the verdict for Her Majesty v. Joe Bloggs.
I was SO, let me repeat that, SO, excited at receiving my jury summons. I had always wanted to do jury service and imagined myself on a juicy case that would last months and months. I would be caught up in the press scramble on the way into court and I would eventually need protection as the accused had threatened revenge when the jury had reached a unanimous verdict of “Guilty“.
How naive I was. I arrived at court to find myself to be one of about fifty jurors, some of whom the computer randomly generated that they should leave immediately and return home, never to be seen again. The computer randomly generated that I attend my first case that very afternoon. The computer also got my first and last names wrong and has, to my annoyance, continued to do so all week!
The cases themselves are nothing like on TV, there is no court room drama, no arguments or fights and nobody in contempt. There is a lot, A LOT, of waiting around. Waiting to be called, waiting to go into the courtroom, waiting for the judge, waiting to deliberate, more waiting for the judge. Waiting for the woman to arrive with the sandwiches that aren’t worth waiting for. Waiting.
It has not been glamorous. There were no celebrities and no press or paparazzi waiting outside. The most exciting it got was having to get the same bus home as the accused. It was all a very normal part of ones day so no big dramas at all. The accused got of the bus and was last seen heading into Tesco. It was not what I expected it would be. It was not interesting, nor was it entertaining. It was, however, the biggest waste of my time. I know there is protocol to be followed but the jurors sit around all day, some for days on end, waiting to be called to court. The excitement of hearing ones name being called and the prospect of having something to do is short lived when the judge decides to announce an early lunch. It has baffled me all week. Judges earn a packet, that’s no secret, but they must be bored stiff!! They don’t do anything!
So whilst I sat and sat and sat, waiting, for a whole week, I was relieved to hear that my final case was quashed due to lack of evidence. The judge called an early lunch, the bell rang and court was dismissed. Duty done.