9 KBW OIC Roadshow and Mock Trials feature in The Times
Chambers gets plod up to speed
Here’s another stereotype, gormless police offices in witnesses boxes confused by their own notebooks and stammering: “He proceeded in a westerly, or was that easterly … perhaps it was northerly … direction, m’lud.”
Robyn Murdo-Smith is a former copper trying to quash that image for good. In 2006 he left the Metropolitan Police to qualify as a solicitor and four years ago he was called to the Bar at Middle Temple. He is now at 9 King’s Bench Walk chambers in the Temple, where he practises as a criminal law specialist. But Murdo-Smith retains a hankering for the thin blue line and he has convinced his set to launch a series of roadshows designed, he tells The Brief, “to prepare police recruits so that when they go to court for real they won’t look like rabbits caught in the headlights”.
Yesterday was the latest outing as the pro bono roadshow – which involves a mock trial with the set’s barristers playing a variety of parts – rolled up to Inner London crown court. John Clifford, a criminal law senior-junior, sat as the judge, while Sophie Quinton-Carter, a four-year-call criminal specialist, Ben Edwards, with ten years under his belt, the recently-joined Tom Aitken and the pupil barrister Charles Drinnan made up the prosecuting and defending teams.
The mock trial involves the story of a young woman seen acting suspiciously in a car park. The police arrive and find her to be in possession of an implement. “It is a short uncomplicated case because these are raw recruits,” says Murdo-Smith, “but they get a run for their money.”