A JUDGE was forced to make an emergency stop to the start of a motorist’s remote crown court hearing – because an iPad microphone was not working!
Judge Nicholas Barker and a magistrate had been due to hear the appeal of a 60-year-old driver against the severity of a sentence he received after being caught speeding in South Cumbria.
Two lawyers, media personnel and Andrew Lilley, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, dialled into the Carlisle Crown Court hearing from their respective homes using the Skype for Business application on their devices.
According to his legal representative, Lilley was bidding to overturn a driving ban he was given for breaking a 40mph limit – on the A591 at Ings, near Staveley, last August – on the grounds of exceptional hardship. This legal process allows motorists to argue that a driving ban should be lifted because it would so adversely affect them.
But the hearing was aborted when it emerged Lilley – visible on a split screen video link – could not be heard. He held up a hastily-scribbled hand-written note to confirm he could hear the other participants, re-entered the application and also used a Skype text message option to exchange comments with the judge, who was sitting on his usual Bench and wearing traditional attire at the Earl Street building.
After noting that iPad-using Lilley may need to give evidence over the video link in support of his exceptional hardship claim, Judge Barker concluded the hearing could not proceed. It was adjourned and will now take place on a date to be fixed.