Breaking news (er … wind) — fart clears East Midlands courtroom

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By Judge John Hack on

It’s Friday — so brace yourselves for a spot of scatological reporting


In what doubtless recalled one of cinema’s most famous episodes — the campfire scene in Mel Brooks’s 1974 classic Blazing Saddles — a courtroom in the East Midlands was cleared earlier this week owing to a particularly noxious incidence of flatulence.

A report in the Mansfield and Ashfield Chad (formerly Chronicle and Advertiser) newspaper sets out the grim details.

About 10 local citizens were whiling away an afternoon watching justice in action from the public gallery at Mansfield Mags two days ago. Indeed, they were particularly focused on the intricacies of an assault trial, which had moved to the climatic point of sentencing.

Their worships were just about to send the defendant down when … somebody farted. Really loudly, and odoriferously.

And just as with Brooks’s railway gang-masters and their baked beans experience, the breaking of wind caused great mirth. According to the newspaper, so much mirth was triggered by the gaseous expulsion that the magistrates instructed the court usher to clear the public gallery.

Those still with this story will be interested to learn that courtroom farting is by no means as rare as one might imagine. A quick Internet search produces several references, with, bizarrely, some instances actually posted on YouTube.

There is even a fart reference in a YouTube piece relating to US television sensation Judge Judy, suggesting it is only a matter of time before our own Judge Rinder will have to deal with something similar.

And of course, last September, we reported on the horse that actually followed through in a courtroom in Ohio. While back on this side of the Atlantic, at the beginning of the year Legal Cheek had the dignified responsibility of bringing the news of the nasty discovery of feaces smack in the middle of the entrance to a courtroom at Westminster Magistrates.