Day 128, week 27: BullDog

I seriously considered calling in sick over the weekend after someone whispered that this one way of getting around the Cab Rank Rule and avoid representing the less enticing of clients. The problem was, no-one would have believed me and the damage I’d have done my tenancy chances was just too much. So I trotted off to the salubrious surroundings of Brent Magistrates’ Court where I met my first ever client, a short, bald, very fat man in his late forties who I shall politely call BullDog.

“So you’re my brief are ye? How old are you mate?”

“Twenty-seven.” I lied, my voice raising an octave in the process.

"And how long you bin practisin’?”

“Three years." My voice went two octaves deeper as I made a fresh attempt to assert even the tiniest bit of authority. My first words on my first day with my first client and they’re all unadulterated big fat porky pies.

“No way, mate! You must be one of them new ‘uns. It’s April ain’t it? My brief once told me about you lot. Look there’s another one over there.”

And so there was, all fresh-faced, shoes polished, new suit and wide-eyed earnestness: a replica of myself, in fact.

I admitted my inexperience.

“So mate. You’ve just lied to your client, have you? Guess you’d better get me a good result today then. Or I might just report you.”

Just what I needed, a client who knew his rights and who now held my professional future in his grubby fat hands. It doesn’t come much more serious than lying to clients.

“So mate. This is the way I see it. I might have been a bad boy in the past but I ain’t bin caught doin’ nuffin’ for two years. Goin’ straight, you could say. Tell ‘em about me daughter and ’ow I’ve been workin’ the doors to look after ’er. Might’ve skimmed a bit of the takings that night but never done it before. Know what I mean mate?”

I was beginning to understand.

“So you tell ’em I bin lookin’ after me daughter and that if they sends me inside she’d be back in care.”

When we eventually got into court, the bench was chaired by a stern-looking lady who looked like an older version of TheBoss’ mistress BattleAxe.

“I see Mr [Bulldog] has a long list of previous convictions. How does he expect to avoid a custodial sentence in these circumstances?” the judge asked. I explained BullDog’s sorry tale and was met with an unflinching glare from the bench.

“Anything more?”

“Er, no, I don’t think so,” I wavered, not sure if they were suggesting that I had missed something.

“Good.”

They then disappeared for a few minutes and came back and sentenced BullDog to six months in prison. Before he was taken away, he asked for a word with me, which was granted.

“Shame about that mate. ’Fraid I’m gonna have to report you now. Real shame that. Just when you done all that work an’ all to qualify.”

“I’m very sorry, Mr [BullDog]. I honestly did my best in there. And I’m also really sorry I didn’t tell you that I was new.”

“Too late mate. Although . . . it might be useful to have another brief on me books. Get quite a lot of me staff up on drugs charges, if know what I mean?”

“Well, if I can help with their defences . . .”

“Might take you up on that mate. S’pose I could ’old off on that complaint . . . ” As he was led away, he turned round and gave me his best chubby little smile. “For now, anyway.”

So, one appearance in court and already I’m in debt to a racist, drug-dealing gangster. On balance, not a good day.

April 2, 2007 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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