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Friday, 11 March 2016

Court Report: TV Licensing at Grantham Magistrates' Court

A member of the TV Licence Resistance forums, RaymondCox, has described his experiences of observing TV Licensing in action at Grantham Magistrates' Court on 10th March 2016.

As mentioned in our earlier report, RaymondCox's visit also doubled as the ideal opportunity to question the Capita Court Presenter, Chris Christiou, about some of the finer points of his immoral employment.

The opening of RaymondCox's field report reads as follows:
A few weeks ago I decided that I wanted to go and observe the circus that is a BBC TV Licensing Court session. If anyone who knows me wants to know why I (and countless others) feel the way I do about the BBC and their nefarious activities, I suggest they also go along to a TVL Court session, or at the very least read the rest of this post. From my other thread you'd know it was a little bit of a challenge just finding out when and where they are held. But perseverance is key. I had to arrange to take a day off work, and sort out childcare arrangements to accommodate my day. But it was worth it.

So Thursday March 10th rolls around, I make my way to Grantham Magistrates Court in Lincolnshire. I arrive nice and early and enter the Lions Den. An unusual sense of nervous excitement takes over. I go through the security check - body scan, turn out your pockets, bag search etc. All pretty innocuous. I then walk up to the reception desk where I'm immediately asked for my name. They automatically assume I'm there to answer charges of an alleged offence. Nice.

Me: "I'm only here to observe from the public gallery"
Receptionist: "It's only TV Licence today"
Me: "Yes, I know. That's why I'm here"
Receptionist: "Oh..."

So I set to copying all of the details from the (lengthy) court list. While I'm busy scribing away, what I went on to discover was the Court Usher strides up and asks me what I'm doing and why.

Me: "I'm just doing research"
Usher: "Are you studying or something?"
Me: "Something like that"
Usher: "Something like that..."

It takes me 30 minutes to write all the names and sexes of the court list just for the AM session, scheduled to begin at 10:00. So then I'm directed upstairs to the waiting room to wait until Court begins. A couple of people show up - one was what I can only assume is a partially sighted elderly woman. She had the big thick dark glasses on, and had to be assisted up the stairs by court staff. She is here to answer a BBC TV Licensing Court Summons. I can feel my blood starting to boil already. She sits down, I considered asking her some questions, but she looked pretty petrified so I didn't want to add any more stress to her day.

...to be continued.
You can finish reading RaymondCox's field report on the TV Licence Resistance forums.

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