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Pupil barrister has wig tin confiscated by court security – Twitter reacts

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‘What level of tinpot jobsworthery brings this about?’

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Security guards at Croydon Magistrates’ Court confiscated a pupil barrister’s wig tin earlier this week — and lawyers aren’t impressed.

In this latest example of overzealous security, criminal pupil BarelyABarrister revealed his or her shock at advice from security that counsel should keep their pricey horsehair wigs in plastic containers.

For the unfamiliar, it’s common for barristers to keep their wigs in personalised metal tins (pictured above) to prevent them from being damaged during transport to and from the court.

Cue the perplexed lawyers.

Jason Hadden, a barrister St Ives Chambers, warned, “Next they’ll be taking the wigs!”, while family solicitor Ian Giddings, referencing the infamous sip-test, added: “I thought if you sipped your coffee from your wig tin you were OK to go through security?”

Other lawyers were quick to pile in:

Responding to BarelyABarrister’s original post, HM Courts & Tribunal Service (HMCTS) apologised for the security mix-up, stating its “guidelines were misinterpreted”.

This, however, isn’t the first time court security grumblings have spilt over into social media.

Last year, Guy Bowden, a criminal barrister at London’s Red Lion Chambers, claimed a colleague of his was forced to use a plastic driving licence to eat his pasta lunch after court security allegedly confiscated his fork. Meanwhile, QEB Hollis Whiteman barrister Adam King told his Twitter followers a colleague had to conduct a hearing in bare feet after she had her shoes confiscated by guards for being “too spiky”.

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34 Comments

Anonymous

Clifford Chance

(4)(16)

Anonymous

Dechert

(1)(1)

Anonymous

DickFort LLLP

(0)(1)

Anonymous

Ah, no. You bifurcated at Cockfosters.

(2)(2)

Major Bloodnok

No I didn’t, I was just applying some ointment.

It’s all lies, I tell you!

Anonymous

This is what happens if you give humans power over other humans.

But to stop tyranny, you actually have to fight tyranny. The words the young barristers were looking for were “no. I am not giving you my wig tin”.

(27)(3)

Anonymous

But their obligation was to get into the building and defend their client, and that obligation would not have been well-served by getting detained by a security guard at the court door.

(20)(0)

Anonymous

‘You can have my wig tin when you prise it from my cold, dead hands.’

(24)(0)

Ciaran Goggins

They came for the wig tins, I was not a wig so I did nothing…

(21)(0)

Anonymous

I thought the barefoot barrister thing didn’t actually happen though.

(3)(0)

Anon

It was denied by the security guards apparently but I was there. It did happen.

(7)(1)

Anonymous

Pics or it didn’t happen.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Or maybe cctv.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Are you sure it wasn’t just that she was asked to take her shoes off to go through security rather than that they were confiscated and she did the hearing in her bare feet? I didn’t think that part really happened?

(0)(0)

Anonymous

Why would they ask her to take her shoes off to go through security. It’s not an airport.

If you set off the arches, they wand you. Simple.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

This is not true. You have to take off shoes, belts, the whole lot at Woolwich CC.

Anonymous

I’ve no idea why they would ask her to take off her shoes, nor why they would she would have to do the hearing barefoot, but that was what was claimed. Sounds like you don’t believe the claim. I agree it seems unlikely.

Adrian

Some criminal courts in Sydney make you remove shoes and belt to go through screening

Anonymous

True, but they don’t make you do the hearing barefoot. The former might have happened but not the latter.

Anonymous

I still don’t believe the barefoot thing happened. Both security and HMCTS said it didn’t and there has been nothing of substance to show otherwise.

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Why were they taking a wig tin into a Mags.

(7)(5)

Anonymous

Croydon Mags is round the corner from the combined Crown and County Courts; it’s often used as overspill; or, the barrister may have had a morning hearing in the Mags followed by an afternoon at the Crown.

(19)(0)

Anon

Pupil barristers are often asked to keep it on them at all times to quickly cover hearings.

(24)(0)

Caligula Wombleby, 18th Earl of Womble

What’s a Croydon and where can I buy one?

(13)(0)

Posting for a friend

I once had my adult nappies confiscates at Staines Magistrates’ Court.

It was very embarrassing.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

And as promised, My Lord, I’ve said nothing.

(5)(0)

Goddard LCJ (dec’d)

I could have done with some of those…

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I’m keeping mine in a celebrations tub. Still has some milky ways in there too. Struggling to get rid of em.

(9)(0)

Anonymous

If I was one of your lot, I would devise a contraption by which the head of a mannequin could be secured to my shoulders, there to act as a receptacle for my wig when not in use on my own head. It would also have the advantage of making me look like Zaphod Beedlebrox.

(3)(1)

Judex

Of course the whole thing was very silly, but I must put in a word for the hard pressed security staff. Like many people who work for HMCTS they are underpaid, overworked and often badly managed. I worked for 15 years at the RCJ in London and 5 or so at the Rolls Building where the security staff coped courteously with huge numbers of visitors of all kinds, often under difficult circumstances. There used to be an exhibit case in a security office just off the main hall containing all kinds of harmful things people had tried to bring in, including a knife intended for use on my predecessor. No wig box, though.

Most of us coming to court have done something stupid, usually in court rather than as we come in. Let’s not be too hasty when it comes to throwing stones.

(3)(9)

OxfordThenHarvard

Hi Steve from Security @HMCTS.

(1)(0)

Chancery Pupil

What is a”magistrates’ court”?

(7)(0)

Anonymous

It’s that place you ended up after a night out with Barrister H****on

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Having to walk through the metal detectors is a right faff. My dick clamp always sets it off.

(3)(1)

Comments are closed.