Independence play

The independence of juries is a cause close to many lawyers’ hearts, but few more so than Winchester-based Nigel Pascoe QC.

On 28 February Pascoe is to perform his one-man play The trial of Penn and Mead in Court Four of the Royal Courts of Justice. The event is to raise money for the London Crown Court Witness Service, run by Victim Support, and BBC Crimewatch presenter Fiona Bruce will be on hand to make the introductions.

The play tells the story of the famous 1670 trial of two Quakers, William Penn and William Mead. The pair were charged with inciting a riot at a street gathering of Quakers. However, both were vindicated by the Lord Chief Justice on appeal and the case established the principle of the independence of the jury in UK law.

It is not known if that great advocate of trial by jury Tony Blair is planning to attend the show, but it should be a riveting performance by Pascoe, an old hand at delivering his piece. Tickets are £35 from Victim Support, or from