His legal knowledge may be second to none but television’s Judge Robert Rinder was struggling to get to grips with the Hartlepool accent.
The barrister was flummoxed when Hartlepool businesswoman Stephanie Aird took her case to his court, appearing on the ITV show today.
The owner of Stephanie’s Cafe-Bar-Shoppe claimed on the show that drag act duo Nikki Rett and Nikki Teene owed her £1,350 for damages and loss of earnings, after they damaged a pipe at the premises, which resulted in a water leak and ruined carpet.
She claimed she had lost bookings to use the room for band practice, dance classes and Avon meetings because of the carpet being taken up and not being able to afford to replace it.
The pair counter-claimed saying that Stephanie owed them £270 for a dress and a wig, which was from Las Vagas, which they said was ruined.
Judge Rinder was confused by Stephanie’s description of “soggy floor” saying: “Please tell me you mean soggy floor you’re talking about the ground is soggy. Soggy floor is not some Hartlepoolian way of saying ‘I was in a bad mood? “Soggy floor means soggy floor.”
I feel like I have died and woken up in the beginning of Billy ElliotJudge Rinder
Stephanie, who used to be a music teacher in the town, replied: “My carpet was wet.”
“Getting £120 to replace a damaged water pipe, do you know long it takes to earn £120 in a shop that doesn’t sell nowt.”
She also referred to her partner as ‘our lad’ and the judge throught she meant her son.
At one point Judge Rinder said: “I feel like I have died and woken up in the beginning of Billy Elliot.”
After hearing from both sides, Judge Rinder said Nikki and Nikki were responsible for the damage to the pipe and the carpet, but not the loss of potential earnings and Stephanie was responsible for some of the damage to the wig and dress.
After weighing it up, in the end Stephanie was awarded £270 in total.