Saturday, March 2, 2013

Examining the Evidence

International Times (London), February 12-25, 1970, p. 4

SOME time ago in a London Magistrate's court, according to a barrister friend of IT, the following exchange took place between a police officer giving evidence on a drug charge and the magistrate:
MAGISTRATE: 'Have you the piece of cannabis found on the defendant?'
OFFICER: 'Yes, your honour'.
MAGISTRATE: 'Has an analyst verified that it is in fact cannabis?'
OFFICER: 'We haven't been able to get an analyst's opinion yet'.
MAGISTRATE: 'How then do you know that was cannabis?'
OFFICER: 'On smelling the substance I decided it was cannabis'.
MAGISTRATE: 'Well I think I am as good a judge as any to whether it is in fact cannabis, let me have a look at it'.
[Judge then proceeds to sniff substance suspiciously and finally licks the offending article just to make sure.]
MAGISTRATE: 'Very well, I am satisfied that it is in fact cannabis. Whereabouts did you find the cannabis?'
OFFICER: 'Up the defendant's rectum, your honour'.
It would not be totally inaccurate to report that something a little more pronounced that a 'slight titter in the courtroom' was evinced by the officer's final remarks