|Written by Ben Graville|
|10 Jun 2009|
The Old Bailey or Central Criminal Court is the country’s most important crown court. It hears cases remitted to it from all over England and Wales as well as the Greater London area. |
These pictures show remand prisoners who are being kept in custody during their criminal trials, along with security guards who accompany them in the vans as they are escorted between prison and the Old Bailey.
The prison security vans have small dark windows allowing the occupant to look out, but blocking view from the outside. These images capture reactions from the remand prisoners as a camera is placed against the window as the flash goes off to offer a glimpse into the van.
The long process and dark grim historical nature of criminal law was the starting point of these pictures, highlighted through the anonymity of the remand prisoners hidden away from public view – not through choice but a decision made by authorities to potentially alienate the prisoners further from society. You can often hear remand prisoners banging on the window of the van to attract attention. This desire to be heard or seen is manifest in these photos, showing how the processes of criminal law mystify and intensify situations as the prisoner travels between the remand prison and the Old Bailey.
Working for a Press agency as a photographer specialising in criminal and civil law for over four years, I often photographed prison vans entering the court precincts from remand prisons to try and capture well known or infamous people who were at that time in the legal process. While making these pictures, which is notoriously difficult, I started to capture other unknown prisoners and became more interested in documenting these anonymous faces.