Jdsk wrote:I asked the court if the Sentencing Remarks or a transcript were available.
They aren't... but if I can justify the cause and pay they'll make a transcript. ...
I think you can trust the report by the local rag which seems to be the traditional type of court report which used to be the staple of local newspapers in particular a reporter taking shorthand notes of everything that's said. If you want to check, I'd suggest trying to contact the reporter through the paper. I think that the problems with getting something from the court are the cost of transcription into a readable form, then the need for the judge to agree it. Once upon a time, the official records were made by people using a machine which did a sort of mechanical shorthand. I think now it's more a case of tape-recording or possibly even something digital, but turning that into an official paper copy is labour intensive.
FWIW, I only remember one case where I had any involvement where it was a bit misleading. It was a Saturday morning court ie nobody working and in my capacity as duty officer at Leeds Bridewell I was prosecuting. The only business = opposed bail applications. One case involved a robbery in a jeweller's and for some reason the defence asked for reporting restrictions to be lifted so the press could report everything. Not much else going on so the report covered most of the front and back pages of the Yorkshire Evening Post. The suspects had been detained because the son of the proprietor had become suspicious and had ambushed them as they tried to scarper. This bit of the tale was split between the front and back pages. The suspicions of the son were on the front page and it continued on the back along the lines "..."Inspector Thirdcrank said he hid behind the door, then stopped the suspects from leaving..." Reading the sentence as a whole, it was obvious that "he" referred to the jeweller's son, but for a while, colleagues were asking about my big arrest. A lot of waffle to say I wouldn't have placed so much credence on the report if I did not trust that type of journalism. Remember, a local reporter is usually there every day, not like some national only turning up for the real big stories. They have to have the trust of the people in the system and that means doing things right.