Baby on board? Tell it to the judge

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.


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

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Read Next
David Cameron faces the press as he arrives in Brussels for the EU leaders summit on Thursday reuters  

On the Tusk of a dilemma: Cameron's latest EU renegotiation foe

Andrew Grice
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959  

Stephen Ward’s trial was disgraceful. There can be no justification for it

Geoffrey Robertson QC
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas