Baby on board? Tell it to the judge

Share
Related Topics
A most extraordinary case is being heard in the High Court at the moment, in which a motorist is making history by being prosecuted privately for the stickers in his car window. Here is an extract from yesterday's proceedings.

Counsel: Your name is Sidney Greenleaf ?

Witness: It is.

Counsel: Do you or do you not own a car ?

Witness: I do. It is not a crime to own a car.

Counsel: Nobody is suggesting that it is a crime, Mr Greenstreet.

Witness: Greenleaf.

Counsel: Greenleaf. Now, Mr Greenleaf, could you describe this car to us?

Witness: Yes, I could.

PAUSE

Counsel: Why are you not describing this car for us ?

Witness: Nobody has asked me to. All you have asked so far is whether I would be capable of it. I said that I would be capable of it.

Counsel: Describe this car, please.

Witness: Well, it's dirty but basically in quite good nick, apart from a small rattle in the engine which I can't trace. The windscreen spray is out of alignment, which means that passers-by tend to get more of the spray than the car does, know what I mean ...

Counsel: When I asked you to describe the car, I did not mean give me a sales talk. I meant, tell me the make and colour.

Witness: Oh. It's a four-wheel green Mazda.

Judge: Excuse me for butting in again so soon, but I though that Asda was a large shop.

Counsel: No, my Lord, his car is called a Mazda, not Asda.

Judge: I thought that a Mazda was a kind of lightbulb.

Counsel: And so it is, my Lord. But it is also a kind of car.

Judge: How curious. Is it not odd that a lightbulb manufacturer should suddenly take it into his head to manufacture family cars?

Counsel: Most odd, my Lord. Now, Mr Greenleaf ...

Judge: Has Osram started making cars?

Counsel: I don't think so, my Lord.

Judge: Is it an electric car?

Counsel: Is what an electric car?

Judge: This car made by the lightbulb people. The Mazda.

Counsel: His Lordship wants to know if your car is electric.

Witness: It's petrol-driven, my Lord. Of course, the lights are electric. If your Lordship is interested in buying it, I could give him a run round during the recess or lunch break or whatever it's called. It's in pretty good condition and it's recently been valeted ...

Counsel: I do not think he is interested in your car as a possible purchase, only as part of the trial.

Witness: Fair enough.

Counsel: Now, could you describe your car back window.

Witness: Yes, I think I could do that. PAUSE. Oh, sorry, you mean you actually want me to describe my back window?

Counsel: Yes, I do. With special reference to the sticker or stickers in that window.

Witness: Righty ho. Well, the window itself is a plain glass window. The first sticker is an old one we've had for ages, which just says: "Keep Back - Baby on Board."

The second one says: "Windsurfers Do It Standing Up." There's one other, which says ...

Counsel: Do you actually have a baby on board?

Witness: Pardon?

Counsel: Your car sticker proclaims to the whole world that you have a baby in the car. Is this in fact true?

Witness: Well, no, not really. It was true when we put the sticker in.

Counsel: How long ago was that?

Witness: 1979.

Counsel: How old is the baby now?

Witness: Rising 18. She's just off to college.

Counsel: So the car sticker is now wholly misleading ...

Judge: Excuse me for butting in again, but will someone tell me what this is all about?

Counsel: My Lord, I represent the Council for Decent and Truthful Car Stickers, a body of good people and true who have decided to take a stand against mendacious and misleading car stickers. We aim to prove that Mr and Mrs Greenleaf have been lying about babies for the past 15years simply in order to have more room on the road.

Judge: I see. Are you going to bring every motorist in Britain with this sticker in here this morning?

Counsel: No, my Lord. We hope that this will be a test case.

Judge: Thank goodness for that. Incidentally, what do windsurfers do standing up ? I have often wondered.

Counsel: That will probably become clear, my Lord, when we call a windsurfer as a witness.

Judge: Good! I shall look forward to that.

More of this fascinating case tomorrow, I hope.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Kanye West performs live at the Brit Awards 2015  

UK Grime is finally getting the recognition it deserves, but why has it taken so long?

Paul Gibbins
 

Jihadi John went to my university – so what?

James Tennent
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower