Ric Rees has uttered those two words on an almost daily basis, for more than 17 years.
The judge’s attendant at the Launceston Supreme Court has sat through more than 770 jury trials.
The former Australian Army Sergeant Major began his career in the court room in 2001.
While he doesn’t recall the first case he worked, he does remember it was with Justice Pierre Slicer – who is now retired, but has recently stepped in as an acting judge.
He went on to work for Chief Justice Ewan Crawford for 12 years, and now works for Launceston-based judges Robert Pearce and Michael Brett.
Of the hundreds of cases he has witnessed, some of the more gruesome have stayed with him.
A double murder at Ravenswood was one he would never forget.
Accused Marco Rusterholz received a 45-year jail term for killing Angela Hallam and Joshua Newman.
He stabbed them multiple times, cut their throats and burned their bodies.
“I sat through that for six weeks, it was probably the longest murder trial we’ve had,” Mr Rees recalled.
The action has not always been before the bench though, with plenty of stories from the back of the court room.
“We’ve had a number of fights in this court room, near the back, the security officers do a fine job, but you can’t always keep the remand day in order so they have to take them outside the court and we continue on even though there’s a fight outside,” he said.
He is now in his final year, planning to retire mid-next year.
Before venturing into the world of trials, bail applications and remand days, he served in the army for three decades.
From 1975 until 2001 he was a Sergeant Major in the 3rd Battalion (parachute) in the Royal Australian Regiment, in the 5th and 7th battalions (mechanised) and in the 12th and 40th battalions in the Royal Tasmanian Regiment.
He served in west Germany, Malaysia, and the United States.
Finishing up his career in Launceston, he worked as the centre coordinator at the defence force recruiting office in Brisbane Street and was in the reserves for another three years.
Originally from South Australia, he decided to settle down in Tasmania and bought a farm.
“A friend of mine has a job as the jury coordinator in Hobart and he’s ex-military and we served together and he said there was a job in Launceston going, so I applied, I think there were only two applicants so I ended up getting the job,” he laughed.
“And I’ve been here ever since.”
He was not the only Rees working at the Launceston court either.
His wife, Sherry Rees, was an attendant and worked as a transcriber.
“She would have the upstairs court and I would have downstairs, but she would just do relief if we had a second judge or we would have civil matters upstairs,” Mr Rees said.
Beyond his duties at court, he has also been a volunteer firefighter at the St Patricks River brigade for more than 21 years, and is a volunteer rainfall and storm recorder for the Bureau of Meterology.
Using the legal knowledge he has acquired throughout his career, he has worked as a Justice of the Peace and is completing his bench justice training.
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