Clerk to the court: “All rise please.”
Everyone stands. Three people file in, take their places behind the main bench, sit.
Clerk: “All sit.”
Everyone else sits.
Clerk: “The first case before your worships today involves a little girl who is only just over the age of criminal responsibility. Usher, can you please call in… Goldilocks..”
There is a pause, as the usher goes out, and returns with a little girl in a blue dress, with long blonde curls, accompanied by a woman.
They take their places.
Clerk: “And you are?”
Woman: “Sarah James, from social services.”
Clerk: “Thank you. Prosecution?”
A man stands: “The charges faced by Goldilocks today are burglary with intent, theft, and criminal damage. The case against her is that she illegally entered a house belonging to a bear family, ate their porridge, and broke a chair. This is a preliminary hearing, we are not seeking to hear the full case at this juncture.”
Clerk: “Ms James?”
“Your worships, I am here because there are child protection issues involved. Goldilocks was roaming the forest by herself, with no parental or other adult supervision. Clearly, this put her at great risk of harm. There is also the question of WHY she was hungry and ate the porridge. We are very concerned about her home circumstances and would ask you to remand her into care, pending further investigations.”
The magistrates whisper to the clerk.
“All rise.” They leave. And return a few minutes later, when the clerk again orders everyone to rise, then sit.
Chief magistrate: “We agree there are several disturbing aspects to this case, and duly remand the child Goldilocks into the care of social services for seven days.”
Clerk: “That will be all then, Ms James, and Goldilocks. Usher, can you bring in the next case, please?”
The usher leaves, and returns with a strapping teenage boy, accompanied by a worried-looking woman. . They are shown to their places.
The clerk addresses them: “You are Jack, and you are his mother and legal guardian?” They nod.
The prosecutor stands.
“Your worships, this is a most serious case. The charges faced by this young man are not only several counts of burglary and theft, but also murder. It is the Crown’s case that he repeatedly burgled the home of a giant, stealing property of considerable value, and that when the giant pursued him, down the beanstalk he had used to access the premises, Jack here destroyed the beanstalk, causing the giant to fall to his death. I would ask you to remand him into youth custody.”
Again, the magistrates leave the courtroom to deliberate, before returning and giving the order.
Clerk: “And there is one more case before you this morning, your worships, but I don’t seem to have the name…?
Prosecutor: “It’s a young person accused of taking an old man by the left leg, and throwing him down the stairs.”….

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