The defendant, Roger Khan, was on trial for a vicious attack that left a man’s skull shattered and his brain exposed to the elements, but he had no lawyer representing him in court. He was dyslexic and had no legal knowledge, but the judge had told him that, if he fired the legal-aid lawyers he no longer trusted, he would have to defend himself. In fact, the only legal advice he was getting came from the prosecution. Throughout the four-week trial, a junior Crown barrister went down to the cells each morning to advise him on how to conduct his defence — although naturally enough, the prosecution’s aim was to get him convicted and sent to prison.
Even more strangely, some of those in court had been acquainted with each other long before the trial began.