John Halewood-Dodd column: Well worth the ‘weight’

John Halewood Dodd
John Halewood Dodd

Language is extremely important in the legal profession as advocates are, amongst other things, the mouthpiece for those they represent.

But when things don’t come out as intended it can often lead to amusing consequences.

I’d like to share one or two examples that have occurred of late.

Firstly, there was the rather large lady who had been arrested for allegedly kicking off whilst complaining about being kept waiting for over two hours at the inquiry desk of the local police station.

She had made a counter allegation that the police had assaulted her and as such she had lodged a formal complaint.

The prosecutor challenged this during her trial and suggested she was the aggressor who was angry because of her “wait”.

“What’s my weight got to do with it?” she screamed amid a tirade of abuse as she physically went for the prosecutor in court.

Then there was my defence colleague who, when trying to secure bail for a client, acknowledged the heavily pregnant girlfriend who had attended court to offer support.

He explained that his client hoped to be able to provide for his family-to-be and was actively seeking employment. He went on to say that although unskilled, he was a hard worker who had experience of labouring in the building trade and was so strong he could “hump almost anything”. The girlfriend was not amused.

My personal favourite is our recent attempt at a defence involving a motorist who had parked his car in a loading bay and was prosecuted for doing so.

The defence was that the bay was for loading and unloading and as he had parked there whilst he had used a public convenience he had obviously been “unloading”.

Not a defence the magistrates were willing to accept but a brave try.

I would have been flushed with success if we’d have won with that!