Sleeping justice

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

Sleeping justiceAnother instalment of sleeping justice has been drawn to our attention. In hearing the case of Raymond Betson, 41, from Chatham, Kent, and William Cockran, 50, from London, each…

Sleeping justice

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Another instalment of sleeping justice has been drawn to our attention. In hearing the case of Raymond Betson, 41, from Chatham, Kent, and William Cockran, 50, from London, each jailed for 18 years for plotting what would have been the biggest robbery in history, Judge Michael Coombe nodded off.

Lord Justice Christopher Rose, one of the UK Court of Appeal judges, said Coombe had “very frankly” admitted falling asleep. Although there has been some debate over whether or not His Honour was sufficiently slumbering as to be snoring, the would-be thieves of £200 ($475) million worth of diamonds from the Millennium Dome, lost their bid to secure an appeal.

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Perhaps the two may consider themselves a tad unlucky after last year saw a man convicted of mischief and criminal harassment in 2001, get a new trial after the courts found his judge fell asleep during cross-examination.

The accused’s trial lawyer said she and other court officials in Toronto opted to drop a 2,136-page copy of the Criminal Code on the judge’s desk to get his attention.

“I dropped the Code and His Honour was visibly stirred from his slumber,” she said in her affidavit.

Sleeping justice
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