Belfast Telegraph

TV barrister sits in on court drama

Television barrister actress Maxine Peake was in a real-life legal drama when she sat in front of a jury at the Old Bailey.

The star of BBC's Silk series was granted the rare honour of sitting on the bench next to a judge while he tried a woman for murder.

Maxine made notes as Judge Stephen Kramer conducted the case against the woman accused of stabbing her husband after a row about what they should watch on television.

The actress was almost unrecognisable without the bright red lipstick which is the trademark of her character Martha Costello QC.

She watched closely as prosecution barrister Miss Bobbie Cheema questioned a female pastor who said she had seen Leonora Sinclair, 50, beat up her husband Lloyd on a previous occasion.

Judges often sit with guests but they are usually pupils or members of the legal profession.

On Thursday Maxine sat anonymously at the back of another court as she watched Mandy Fleming, 47, sentenced to 18 months for turning her husband's yacht into a floating bomb.

The actress said later: "I am doing some preparation for the new series."

The BBC are due to announce details of the new series after the success of the first series earlier this year.

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