An underage young man appeared in court charged with armed robbery.
A young man who was found guilty of attempted robbery and theft was today sentence at the Coventry Crown Court.
The juvenile who cannot be name for legal reasons has been sentenced to eighteen months detention and training.
Presiding Judge Gregory took into account the difficult circumstances surrounding the child’s upbringing which could have subsequently resulted in his delinquent behaviour.
The trail was seen as a fair one and the hearing was successful.
Nana-Ama reporting from Coventry Crown Court
Reflection on Court report
Going to court and filling a written and an audio report was not something I thought I would have the opportunity of doing on a Journalism module. For a few weeks, I felt I was attending a law class instead of journalism one. Hearing about people’s past experience about going to court left me really scared about carrying on. However it needed to be done as I couldn’t fully participate in the module without a court attendance.
Prior to going into court I found myself thinking if somehow I unknowing breeched the court’s code of practise and got a fined or winded up in jail that would be the end of my university education. The prospect of that happening made me more fearful. Nonetheless the legal aspect of the lectures was very helpful in calming me down. I attended my lectures religiously and I knew if I paid close attention to what was been taught and adhered to the code of practice in court then my university education would not be short lived after all.
The day in court was a tensed one as the whole atmosphere was not something I was accustomed to. However I was not apprehensive while going through security checks at the court house. This was because I had nothing to hide neither was I carrying anything I wasn’t suppose to such as hidden cameras or secret recording devices which were definitely not allowed in court. The Edirol I was carrying was taken from me which I expected and I also handed over the camera I had in my bag.
I met a few of my course mates on the day I went to court and that was helpful as it calmed me down. My course mates spoke to the clerk and I stood and listened because I didn’t have the courage to approach him. The clerk was very helpful as he made it clear which hearings were taking place that day hence I was able to make a clear note of the ones time would allow me to sit through.
Sitting in the pressing bench and making notes like a real journalist I’m aspiring to be was an amazing experience. It gave me an idea of what to expert in my professional world. The look on the faces of lawyers and other court attendants was definitely intimidating. I assumed they were thinking why a number of students were in court that morning.
Being shouted at to sit down did not make it any better. I mistakenly stood to speak to a course mate just as a trial began. The judged called the name of the accused and coincidentally then was when I stood to speak to my course mate. I walked back to my seat deeply embarrassed and not knowing where to hide my face as I could feel everyone in the court room was staring at me.
I attended more than three hearing however I decided to filled my report about 15 year old was guilty of robbery. Knowing he was underage I was careful not to name him in my report. The clerk was also very helpful in providing us more background information about the trial.
I found the trail of the 15 year old very shocking the charges levelled against him were unbelievable for a 15 year old. This exposure brought to my attention the harsh realities of life which was a miles away from court trials on TV.
Additionally the ‘killer’ stares from the young man on trial’s family were very frightening therefore I was cautious about leaving the courtroom the same time as his family. Nonetheless I knew if I complied with the journalist code of practise, I should not feel threaten in anyway.
Filling the audio report was another experience I found extremely exciting. Standing outside Coventry court with onlookers passing by while I read out my report was somewhat embarrassing but yet amazing. In order not to be in contempt, I filled my report contemporaneously. The recorded script was within the 20 to 30 seconds limit as required by the assessment criterion and after a few takes I decided on which audio recording to pick for my portfolio.
Using west midland as my border I could have gone to other court hearing in different cities to see what it also had to offer. However, in retrospect, I’m proud of my achievements. The exposure has given me a little more confidence and brought to my awareness that to become a successful journalist, it takes a lot of practice.