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Gary Mavers plays Joe Gateacre.

Q: What's Joe like? A: He's a Senior Probation Officer and he comes from the area. He's responsible for working with the Judge and determining what sentence to give an offender, but he has to do it for the best interests of the community. Joe is also responsible for the welfare of that offender, before and after sentencing. Sometimes a custodial sentence might be the best option because then they are out of the community. Or you may think about rehabilitating them, but then they're still within the community which means they may still be causing problems.

Q: How does Joe feel about the Judge and his hidden past? A: Joe doesn't understand why the Judge is so reluctant to go into the community and talk to the people, because for him that's what it's all about. The Judge eventually reveals that he has a hidden past, and because it involves the area where he's from, he's afraid that if he does go into the community it'll blow the lid and possibly compromise his career. When all that comes to light they have a problem and have to decide whether to go public, or wait for the time bomb to go off.

Q: Did you do any research before you started filming? A: The best bit of research was going to a community court and watching how the whole thing worked. What struck me more than anything was the fact that the Judge in court that day had such humility about him. Instead of just sentencing people and condemning them, he actually communicated with the offenders in the dock. You felt like there was a real communication and understanding there, a real empathy. For me it was a big deal and gave the characters we were playing a real meaning.

When I first read the script I thought to myself maybe there's a little bit of artistic license there, surely judges and people in the court aren't this nice. But if anything they were nicer and it really blew me away.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 2, 2011
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