A whole host of popular cartoon characters were found accidentally listed to appear in front of magistrates at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court this week.
Well, this is a new one.
In a rather bizarre system glitch, Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Tinker Bell, Captain Hook, Bugs Bunny, Daphne Duck, Road Runner, Buzz Lightyear, Sleeping Beauty, Cruella Deville and more were all due for mention hearings.
The popular characters were comically listed as being due before a judge from 10am today.
The Daily Courtroom List – which informs the public of hearings taking place that day – was posted live on Twitter yesterday and was quickly picked up on many.
Social media posts from lawyers and court watchers speculated that the names had been posted due to a simple error, or perhaps even as a joke by an outgoing member of staff, but to make matters even more confusing, the characters’ “cases” were even listed alongside real defendants, including some of whom are due to appear via videolink from prison.
So, what exactly went wrong here then?
The glitch has been described by officials as a “testing error”.
HM Courts and Tribunals Service confirmed on Wednesday night that the error was due to the characters being inputted to test an upgraded listing system.
The service said in a tweet: “Sorry for the error – we’ve been testing a new upgrade to our case management system and the names were created as test cases but should have been deleted before the lists were issued/published.
“Our local team has updated the final list online, removing the test names/cases.”
Despite providing a valid reason for the glitch, this definitely didn’t stop people from having a good laugh about it all, with one person claiming it was “the best thing that’s happened in law all year”.