Two retirees spend more than 1,000 days at Norwich Crown Court | Crime
PUBLISHED: 08:52 11 February 2018 | UPDATED: 09:14 11 February 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
Listening to the harrowing particulars of high-profile homicide circumstances may appear to be an uncommon pastime to take up in retirement.
But not for David Harris and Richard Egerton, who’ve spent more than 1,000 days watching legal circumstances unfold at Norwich Crown Court.
Over the previous 10 years, the 2 buddies have used their free time to look at proceedings from the court docket’s public galleries.
And throughout that point they’ve witnessed a few of Norfolk’s most ugly and horrific homicide circumstances.
Mr Harris, 67, from Drayton, mentioned he first took an interest within the legal justice system whereas serving as a juror in Lincoln within the 1970s.
After realising the general public might freely sit in court docket rooms, he then began utilizing his work vacation allowance to look at circumstances.
The former Jewson supervisor mentioned he finds the entire court docket course of fascinating, however admitted it did have some influence on the way in which he sees the world.
Mr Harris mentioned: “It does make you more conscious about what can happen out there. I think a lot of people take the attitude ‘it will never happen to me’, but unfortunately it does.”
The married grandfather-of-four, who’s a Norwich City season ticket holder, has recorded day by day he has spent in court docket since retiring in 2008. He believes that by the top of February he could have reached 1,000 days.
“I would say we have seen almost every murder case heard at Norwich Crown Court since 2008”, he mentioned. “The worst was the petrol murder in 2009 it was just horrific.”
Former printer Mr Egerton, 75, from Thorpe St Andrew, shares his good friend’s curiosity within the legal justice system.
He mentioned he grew to become fascinated with the courts whereas sitting as a juror on a horrific homicide case in 2005, which concerned a person being decapitated by a chainsaw in west Norfolk.
“The law is what we are really interested in,” he mentioned. “I sometimes think the sentences are no way near realistic, but judges are restricted in what they can give.”
Over the years, the 2 buddies have gotten to know all the court docket workers, together with the safety, barristers and judges.
“We have a lot of respect for all of the staff at the court, as well as witness support,” Mr Harris mentioned.
The pair mentioned one in all their favorite judges was Peter Jacobs, who has since retired.
Mr Egerton mentioned: “He was such a personality and he had a terrific sense of humour. You knew that whenever you went into court docket and he was there it might be attention-grabbing.
“He would additionally all the time acknowledge us.”
Mr Harris mentioned he believed more folks would sit in and watch court docket circumstances in the event that they knew they had been allowed.
As for himself and Mr Egerton, he mentioned: “Providing our health will be alright, we will both be here for another 1,000 days.”
An enhance in sure forms of circumstances
The two buddies mentioned in recent times they’d seen a rise in sure forms of offences going to court docket.
Mr Harris mentioned: “In the past few years there seems to have been more people going on trial or pleading guilty to taking advantage of the elderly by stealing from them. It is a case of abusing their position of trust.”
Mr Egerton added: “There is a lot of rape and drug-related cases on at the moment too, but we don’t really go to many of them.”
The pair mentioned in addition to having “massive respect” for prosecution and defence barristers who sit in such circumstances, additionally they have loads of respect for Norfolk and Suffolk Police, particularly its main investigation group.
Mr Harris mentioned: “It is amazing how they are able to piece together evidence. And it shows you just can’t go anywhere without people knowing where you are, whether it is through your mobile or by using a cash machine.”
The worst 5 homicide circumstances in Norfolk
David Harris and Richard Egerton mentioned there have been 5 circumstances that stood out resulting from their horrific nature.
1. Petrol murderers: Three folks had been jailed for all times in 2005 for the homicide of pupil Simon Everitt. He was tied up, doused in petrol and set alight close to Great Yarmouth.
2. Kerri McAuley homicide: Killer Joe Storey was locked away for 24 years in June 2017 for a “sustained and brutal” assault on his former associate.
three. Warren Ricardo Blake: The 18-year-old drug vendor was jailed for 17 years in June 2016 for stabbing Andrew McGowan, 33, to dying in Great Yarmouth.
four. Steven Murphy homicide: Killers Andrew Cameron and Alexander Dewar from Blackpool got 25-year jail sentences for stabbing Mr Murphy to dying in Fakenham in October 2009.
5. Snettisham pub homicide: Landlord Michael Tucker shot his girlfriend Becky Thorpe within the bathtub, earlier than hiding her physique in a freezer. He was jailed for no less than 26 years in May 2011.
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