In a stunning example of looking a gift horse in the mouth, a Romanian national accused of breaching a deportation order has threatened to sack their Counsel despite having the enormous good fortune to find a Barrister fluent in their own language!
Ilie Paun, 60, of Romania, committed a string of offences, including theft and driving while disqualified. When stopped by the police in connection with these offences, he was found to also be in breach of an earlier deportation order.
Mr Paun speaks no English, yet he had the extreme good fortune to be represented by a Romanian-speaking Barrister - in spite of this stroke of good fortune, Mr Paun wished to find out the likely outcome of the trial before deciding on his representation.
No Romanian interpreter was available at the time of Mr Paun's trial, however, the Judge, Michael Gladhill KC, was sufficiently satisfied by Barrister Dana Bilan's fluency in both languages to allow her to interpret for Mr Paun.
Mr Paun pled guilty to the charges; however, he wished to be appraised of the likely outcome before deciding on who he wanted to appear for him.
Judge Gledhill remanded Mr Paun in custody and granted him a week to arrange another firm of solicitors to represent him. He said: “Mr Paun, you have two barristers from a well-known and highly-respected firm of solicitors representing you this morning. You could not get better representation. On October 11 you will be sentenced whether or not you are represented.”
Mr Paun faces five years imprisonment for breach of the deportation order.