After ten days of intensive planning by barristers for the second Law Society Mock Trial, Wednesday night featured an hour of cross-examinations, evidence, testimonies and rhetorical flourish. Involving no less than 25 pupils and staff-members, the event saw the prosecution of Ed Sheasby (U6S), charged with wounding Annie Gerard-Pearse (U6M) by throwing a rock at her outside the IT building.
Although the case appeared simple, the narrative was layered with complex relationship dynamics, complications and ulterior motives – all of which emerged in a sequence of engaging (and unrehearsed) cross-examinations and witness volte-faces arbitrated by a broad and varied jury of ten pupils.
The end result may have been unimportant compared to the experiences we have drawn (though I’d like to add we did successfully defend a guilty Ed Sheasby towards a hung jury!), but I’m certain that the prosecuting council - Charlie Bingham (5M) and Lucas Pringle (5P) - and defence - Laura Bramall (U6A) and myself - would especially like to thank Kathryn Stone OBE, Chief Legal Ombudsman of England and Wales, whose comments about the barrister performances were extremely illuminating.
We welcome Mrs Stone again on 24 April for a talk about her role as the Ombudsman and at the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Manon Allen (U6F)