Flock of seagulls brings court to a standstill

SEAGULLS ... their squawking brought a courtroom to a halt.
SEAGULLS ... their squawking brought a courtroom to a halt.

COURT proceedings were temporarily brought to a halt in South Tyneside yesterday – by the deafening cry of a flock of seagulls.

Sealing shut the windows at South Tyneside Magistrates Court to keep out the racket proved anything but an open and shut case.

Magistrates stopped solicitor Kevin Smallcombe in his tracks during a hearing at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court as voices struggled to be heard among the chatter from above.

Gary Cracknell, chairman of the magistrates, asked for a case hearing to stopped while court officials investigated whether windows in court room three could be closed.

He told the court: “I’m sorry, mr Smallcombe, I will have to stop you there. It is impossible to hear with this noise.”

Proceedings stopped for a number of minutes before it was discovered that the windows have an automatic open and shut mechanism, which operates depending on temperature.

The noisy guests eventually quietened down, allowing justice to be served – and heard – again.