By Nick Harris
SJA Internet Sports Writer of the Year
30 January 2012
The trial of Harry Redknapp and Milan Mandaric continues into a second week today at Southwark Crown Court.
Proceedings are being covered by the full range of national media, and if you want regular ‘live’ updates too, then among others who have been tweeting from the court building, but not Court No6 itself, where tweeting is banned, are (click to get their Twitter feed): James Pearce of the BBC, Tariq Panja of Bloomberg, Sam Wallace of The Independent, Gordon Farquhar of the BBC, Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail and Paul Kelso of The Telegraph.
I was in court last Thursday and Friday and expect to attend other sessions although I am not attending today.
In response to a number of Sportingintelligence readers asking for insight into how the court is physically arranged, here is a simple plan of the court room and some notes, to add some context to the reports you see and read.
This floor plan of Court 6 at Southwark Crown Court has been made from memory, so precise lengths of tables and boxes are not intended to be definitive.
Any member of the public is allowed to attend the trial, space permitting, and none of the details on this plan are ‘off limits’ to either the jury or the public.
For guidance on scale, the whole courtroom is – very approximately, give or take a few yards – the same size as an 18-yard box on a football pitch.
Notes follow below the plan
A: The judge in the case is Judge Anthony Leonard QC.
B: The dock is perhaps bigger than one might expect, a long rectangular box, wood-paneled to around three feet off the ground and then glass sides to the ceiling. The door is at the left-hand end. There are two rows of five chairs inside. Redknapp and Mandaric have been sitting side by side in the back of the middle row.
C: The jury sit in two rows of six.
D: Assorted lawyers, a number of them in wigs and other court finery, sit at several rows of desks, piled with paper. John Black QC is leading the prosecution and John Kelsey-Fry QC is leading Redknapp’s defence.
E: The public gallery, also being used as overflow media area when necessary, comprises two rows and a total of 23 seats. Members of the public can sit here and watch. It has been noted that some spectators appear to as interested in the presence of pin-up Jamie Redknapp (attending in support of his father) as in the trial itself.
F: The witness box is more like a table, not elevated.
G: The clerk ensures the smooth running of court business.
H: Around a dozen journalists, perhaps a few more, can fit into two rows of seats here.
I: Family and friends in attendance – last week at least – included Jamie Redknapp, Richard Bevan (of the League Managers’ Association) and various people from Tottenham FC. This is not a specifically designated ‘family and friends’ area but is, in effect, although some journalists have also been sitting here.