Date: 26th January 2021
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
In the Sherriff Court there are two likely lads awaiting the opportunity to deny things: any things…
Picture the scene…
Mr. Alexander and Mr. X also known as Mr. Polworth are key witnesses in the trial of a Mr. Kinda Big.
Mr. Kinda Big is also known as Mr. Napier.
First up is Mr. Alexander.
The court is hushed as he enters and takes the stand, the accused, sitting behind a screen but with a look that is all authority.
The prosecution lawyer establishes that Mr. Alexander was in the place he said he was, that he had a clear view of the incident in question between two groups, and that he had identified the culprit as Mr. Napier.
All was going well.
Up stands the defence lawyer who twiddles his moustache and was last quoted in court asking a Knight of The Realm what people had done with their club. For once their club is not being accused of anything but with his growling teddy bear timber of a voice, he begins. “Mr. Alexander, I have but three questions for you.”
Mr. Alexander nods, unaware of the danger in which he has placed himself.
“Firstly, how many people in the place in which you saw the incident were similarly dressed?
Mr. Alexander does not hesitate. “There were 23 people in total, eleven in one colour, another 11 in another colour and one in black.”
The defence lawyer smirks, “So, we have established that the offence was caused by one person of one colour or another, but you contend it was the one person in black, am I correct?”
Mr. Alexander thinks for a second. “It was him,” he responds and to make people doubly aware of whom he speaks, he points directly at the dock.
The defence lawyer, standing upright with his finger now raised, halts Mr. Alexander’s flow. “And yet, the footage we have is of someone in a colour so unlike black involved that it cannot be the man who is currently in the dock. How come you think he is responsible?”
Mr. Alexander, filled now with doubt, tries to mumble something under his breath. The defence lawyer, raises his finger again to stop him talking. “No further questions,” he says directly to the Sheriff who dismisses Mr. Alexander.
The prosecution lawyer feels things are not good.
All was not going well now.
It is now Mr. X’s turn. Screens are brought in to ensure that his identity is hidden before he makes his way from the witness room to the court. Unfortunately, a few well wishers are in the courthouse and shout encouragement from the sidelines before he gets to his destination. His identity may well be out, but he hides behind the screen in any case.
Once again with the feeling that today may not be going his way, the prosecution lawyer establishes that Mr. X was in the place he said he was, that he had a clear view, indeed a clearer view than anyone of the incident and he was also identifying Mr. Napier as the culprit.
Up stands the defence lawyer once more who again twiddles his moustache before beginning with his growling teddy bear timber of a voice. “Mr. X, I have but three questions for you which are the similar to the ones I asked your colleague Mr. Alexander.”
Behind the screen, Mr. X nods but as no one can see him there is a pause before he speaks. He says, “Aye, fire away.”
He too is unaware of the danger in which he has placed himself.
“Firstly, how many people in the place in which you saw the incident were similarly dressed, in fact how many were wearing the same as you?
Mr. X, like Alexander before him, does not hesitate. “There were 11 people dressed like me.” Then he thinks and clarifies, “Erm, including me… that makes 12. Naw, it is still 11 isn’t it?”
The defence lawyer smirks once more, “So, we have established that the offence was caused by one person of one colour or another, but you contend it was the one person in black, who was responsible, am I correct?”
Mr. X does not hesitate. “It was him. He maybe wisnae the wan what did the punching and that, but he started it, so he did,” he responds.
The prosecution lawyer is seen with his head in his hands. The whole case of assault against one member of a stag party who had a fight with another stag party was all about the guy who turned up dressed like a twat and proceeded to try and referee the shambles. The first punch was critical. He had hoped that causation of offence would snag Mr. Big but here was one of the key witnesses, in fact THE key witness folding like a deck of cards under gentle questioning.
All was not going well, not going well at all.
The defence lawyer speaks.
“And so, the footage we have is accurate. In your evidence here you have said he is responsible because you think he said something and not that he did something?”
The defence lawyer looks to the sheriff and says. “No further questions, and can I suggest that we call this whole thing off to save any further embarrassment to the system?”
This time the judge dismisses the witness and the case as the mistaken identity has been proven and the man in black has once again been made to look innocent…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that any lawyer in a Scottish courtroom twiddles his moustache in the manner described, this is therefore not true, though Mr.Napier was accused by a Mr.Alexander of mistaken identity over a Mr. Polworth.
During the week, Graham Alexander, Motherwell manager alleged that referee Craig Napier sent Liam Polworth off for swearing at him when he was swearing at his teammate Lewis Ferguson during their game against Aberdeen. There is to be no sheriff court appearance by either in the appeal process though kangaroos are always welcome to appear at Hampden.
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