‘I need to go to the toilet’: Court’s best one-liners
THE Southport courthouse is a revolving door of siphoning murder cases, rape, domestic violence and thuggery.
However, the judges, lawyers, prosecutors, and sometimes even defendants, do occasionally take the time to see the lighter side.
Here are some of the best one-liners overheard at court in recent months:
* A defence lawyer was arguing her client should only have to report to police once a week while on bail. When the magistrate said he would only consider that if the accused wore a GPS tracker, the defendant piped up from the dock: "I'd rather report two days."
* A defendant interrupted his own barrister during sentencing to ask: "Your Honour, I urgently need to go to the toilet. I know it's bad, but …"
* A judge remarked during a lengthy sentence hearing: "I could adjourn and come up with something detailed and beautiful but I'm just going to get on with it."
* The same judge became worried about those sitting in the back of court waiting for the next matter and generously told them: "I'll be about another 20 minutes. If anyone is going to go hypoglycaemic, go and have a banana."
* A defendant was not going to take a dressing down from a magistrate. "You are causing me stress right now," she told the judicial officer.
* A judge was not afraid of a dad joke during this exchange.
Prosecutor: "The solicitor on the record is Queensland Lawyers."
Judge: "That narrows it down."
Prosecutor: "That's the firm name."
Judge: "Perhaps, I shouldn't make these clumsy attempts at humour."
* A defendant was anxiously waiting in a public gallery for her sentence moments after she had been found guilty of burglary. "I'm too smart to go to jail," she told her supporter.
* A defendant was getting worried when a magistrate ordered drug testing as a part of probation conditions, telling the court. "Your honour, I have a problem with drug testing because I have trouble going to the toilet with other people in the room."
* A magistrate was quite shocked that a matter had been before the court for years. "It has been going on for yonks. That's a technical term. Yonks. It means a long time." About 10 minutes later another lawyer decided to get on the action, and quipped: "Your Honour, I am hoping to adjourn this matter for a period just shy of yonks."
* Telephone appearances have become more prevalent during the coronavirus pandemic and some defendants haven't quite got the hang of it, with once screaming: "Hello." The magistrate calmly informed her it was the court calling. "Oh, how's it going magistrate?" she replied. The same defendant was later asked if she understood the sentence the magistrate gave. "I can't hear. You are breaking up," she said.
* Telephone attendances have also meant hold music is often playing loudly over the phones. One morning the song Closing Time was playing as the magistrate walked in. "Am I in the right place?," she asked.
* A prosecutor and defence lawyer were having quite a spirited argument at the bar table to the amusement of the magistrate. "I don't know who is pulling the funnier face. You are both looking at me but pulling faces at each other," he told them.
* Two prosecutors were discussing how some wipes were not alcoholic. "My wife made me non-alcoholic this month," one said.
* Video links are also challenging for defendants and one rather worriedly asked: "You didn't just hear me before the screen turned on?" When he was informed he had been on mute, he replied: ""Oh, thank Christ for that."
* One defendant decided to be quite vocal while waiting for a matter in court. "Ahh, f***. F***ing useless. What a shemozzle," he said. About 10 minutes later a friend's matter was called and he told him: "You lucky bastard."
* A magistrate had to call a lawyer back into court to wipe down a bench in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions. The watchhouse officer told the solicitor: "You can do my boots too."
* A missing email left a barrister knowing where he stood.
"We found your email. Unfortunately, it went through to my associate's junk mail," the judge told him.
The barrister replied: "Good to know where I fit in."
* Spelling was causing everyone some difficulty, forcing a magistrate to ask: "Can someone Google how to spell Kosciuszko please?"
Originally published as 'I urgently need to go to the toilet': Court's best one-liners