Magwitch explains the details of the trial in Chapter 42. The events are told from his perspective, but the unfairness of the trial is still evident.
Compeyson convinces Magwitch that they should be represented separately. He can afford a good lawyer and fine clothes to testify in, whereas Magwitch barely has enough money for counsel.
The Compeyson lawyer highlights Magwitch as a recidivist criminal who has masterminded the operation-
My lord and gentlemen, here you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide; one, the younger, well brought up, who will be spoke to as such.; one, the elder, ill brought up, who will be spoke to as such.
The proceedings then show Compeyson to be treated more leniently in the courtroom and favored because of his social position – even by the judge:
Ain’t it him as the judge is sorry for, because he might a done so well, and ain’t itme as the Judge perceives to be a old offender of wiolent passion, likely to come to worse?