Letter: In brief

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The Independent Culture
Sir: At the time of the unrelated conviction of two suspects in the Stephen Lawrence murder case, I noticed that David Norris was told by a Sevenoaks magistrate to stop chewing gum in court ("Lawrence suspects fined for raid on depot", 26 May). I was a witness for the prosecution in a Birmingham Crown Court case recently where a "regular" on trial chewed gum, drank cans of pop and dozed off throughout a three-day case under the judge's very nose. Do different rules of behaviour apply to magistrates' sittings or is Birmingham more sloppy than Sevenoaks?

STEVE KIRKHAM

Birmingham

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