The Courts are back at work today and tomorrow is the first list in the Central Criminal Court so it’s back to the day job. It’s always a little like going back to school once the Michaelmas term starts – well actually it’s exactly like going back to school apart from the lack of lessons and the fact that I don’t spend my summers playing on the streets these days.
So tomorrow it’s back to the grindstone and a different murder, after three months immersed in the intricacies of Ms Collins and Mr Eid. Of course, their story isn’t over yet. We’ve still got the sentence to come with all the excitement that will bring (from a journalistic point of view that is). They were due to be sentenced on Wednesday but it looks like things won’t happen quite that quickly. The appearance on Wednesday will just be a nod and a wink and the real fun will be deferred until a later date. As far as the book is concerned that means it ain’t over until it’s over. in lieu of a fat lady we’ll just have to await a tune from Mr Justice Roderick Murphy.
So until the date is decided for us to gather in Court 2 again and find out how long it’ll be before Sharon Collins can send her own book off to publishers it’s back to normality.
I cover murders all the time, it’s one of the main areas the news agency I work for covers. Every now and then there is a trial that is elevated to circus proportions by the press and public. The kind of trial that ticks all the boxes to sell newspapers. In the last few years there’s been a run of high profile cases – Joe O’Reilly, Brian Kearney, Anton Mulder, John O’Brien. These trials tend to be the ones that centre on sex or money so Sharon Collins fitted the bill even without the added curiosity of her being a woman.
Despite the number of trials like this in recent times they aren’t the standard case to come towards the Central Criminal Court. The trials that usually come up are sad, sordid affairs, a moment of violence that may never be repeated or an unhappy chain of events that were waiting in some way to happen. Most trials go almost unnoticed, certain ones almost guaranteed to sink into obscurity.
We’ve got so used to murder these days that trials will be graded on their story worthiness. A domestic tragedy scores well, if the wife was a tragic mother, preferably blond and passably good looking, or the husband rich enough and preferably having an affair. On the other hand, a row between drunken young men is brushed off almost completely.
I know why this happens but it does seem as if some human lives are being ranked as better than others simply because of who killed them and how they died. Each murder trial or attempted murder or even conspiracy to murder is a personal tragedy for someone. Lives are wrecked no matter what the circumstances. It always seemed sad that some stories will never be told.
Ah well, there’s work to be done before tomorrow’s list; notebooks and pens to dig out after their two month’s break. There’s little time for philosophising once the work’s begun so I’m just making the most of the calm before the frenzy of the new term.
Deep breath, back straight and off I go…back to work at last.