Tuesday November 3
We are all a bit naive really aren’t we, when it comes to murder trials? We all expect it to be like in the films when the star actor leading the prosecution trips-up and traps the defendants bang to rights , or the clever defence barrister plucks a new witness or evidence like a rabbit out of a hat to prove their clients’ innocence.
But it doesn’t work like that in real life, does it? No, it is just like now in Bristol’s Crown Court where killer Nathan Matthews (28) and pregnant girlfriend Shauna Hoare (21) are the ones facing the murder charges and their ‘not guilty’ pleas are robustly justified by their Defence barristers and equally rubbished by the Prosecution, all without real clarity and insight isn’t it?
No doubt these primary West Country circuit barristers involved (Adam Vaitilingam QC for Matthews’ Defence, Andrew Langdon QC for the Hoare Defence, and for the Prosecution William Mousley QC) are top notch lawyers in their field, despite just now appearing in the remote Bristol court rather than in London’s famous Old Bailey Central Criminal Court? Certainly though, none of them has astounded us with their brilliance and breakthrough performances, have they? All standard stuff on the surface, wouldn’t you say?
In evidence Hoare seems more concerned about her boyfriend’s confession and therefore ‘angry’ that Matthews has lied to her and was ‘chucking everything away’ and the ‘pain he caused his mum’, & ‘impact on his family’, rather than that innocent young Becky Watts was killed, eh? Is she hiding something, you might ask?
Both she and her boyfriend have now finished their three day stints in the witness box – did we get the whole truth as sworn, or a pack of lies, perhaps?
One James Ireland is accused of participating in the cover-up by helping move Becky’s body parts and has been in custody since his March arrest. He claims in Court to his own barrister Sean Hammond that when he did it he did not recognize that Matthews was involved in any criminal activity, as he didn’t even know him. This was despite admitting telling a mate later ‘yeah I think it was drugs because I saw a package’ – he was certainly involved in moving the packages containing the body parts of Becky Watts, but he now claims he was shocked to find that out?. However, he was involved in text messages with his close friend and workmate Karl Demetrius (who has pleaded ‘guilty’ for his part in moving the parts) about Becky Watts after the event but BEFORE she was found – strange? A massive ‘strain on his life’ now apparently, but as usual nothing is said by him about Becky violently losing hers, is there?
It seems a pity that in England we can’t use a lie-detector (polygraph) to try to identify the blatant liars who appear in our courts, don’t you think? [It is said that some experienced serial liars (like Eastern Europeans) can beat the polygraph (it’s their nature you see), but most normal people cannot – it is often used in the United States].
[Becky Watts’ family and friends are wearing a blue ribbon in her memory during the trial].
For enlightenment a Barrister QC is a ‘Queen’s Council’ (or often known as a ‘Silk’ because of the gowns then worn). How do they get to be an eminent QC then? By brilliantly passing top law exams? Er, NO. By winning all their court cases? Er, NO. By an outstanding performance in a major trial? Er, NO. They simply apply for this elevation and it used to be decided secretly behind closed doors but nowadays the Lord Chancellor advises and reviews a panel’s decision. There was a plan to abolish the system and title of QCs over ten years ago but it has of course continued at the insistence of the legal profession – some thousand new ones have been appointed since then, so it is hardly an unique club is it?