The judge had the kind of face for which the word ‘patrician’ was coined, calm, patient, a hint of kindness in his eyes, but also an unmistakable steel.
He was well nourished but not over fed, with a healthy complexion and bright eyes which scanned the courtroom when not focused on the paperwork in front of him or the witness giving evidence.
Quickly he scanned the search warrant application for errors while the sergeant waited patiently, then laid the paper down carefully, looking over his reading glasses.
‘Sergeant, did you hear the call?’ he asked.
‘I did, judge,’ the sergeant answered. ‘I have a full statement from the lady.’
‘You’re satisfied it wasn’t put on the answering machine for you?’
The sergeant blinked, unsure for a moment how to answer that one. Best to cut to the chase, he decided. ‘It was sent from that number.’
The judge shrugged, and reached for his pen.
‘It doesn’t speak of brain surgery, does it?’ he observed as he authorised the warrant.
‘No judge, it doesn’t, fortunately for us.’
In the body of the court, half a dozen Guards grinned widely, unable to hide their smiles. Some days, policing is an easy gig.