Saturday, 17 March 2012

The story of my misfortunes 5

The first thing that happened was that all sorts of demands arrived via my solicitor while  "friends" passed on the information that she was still trying to think about what to do, after all this was a very serious matter and she had a duty to other women to protect them. Clear blackmail.
When I didn't respond, it went quiet for a while and then the police arrived and arrested me. They had a photograph of her covered with bruises. They were impressed by that.
They didn't tell me it was taken about a month after the attack.
My difficulty was that I didn't know where she had gone that night. One possibility was that she had gone to the man with whom she had hoped to live; and it seemed entirely possible to me that he had beaten her up. I knew that he was wearying of her. Most people did. I told her he would.
Later, at the trial that followed he said she had turned up and he wasn't best pleased because he did not want to be involved in anything any more.
That was one of her witnesses. The pekinese, asked to clarify an answer, shouted "Don't you call me a liar!"
Her doctor, when pressed, admitted that she had not actually carried out an examination and unfortunately couldn't find any notes; but she was sure that her report saying that MW was the victim of domestic violence was accurate.
The MW herself responded to questions with "How can you do this to me, as a woman" and then turned her back on the court and refused to speak.
Among the things she was declining to comment on were copies of correspondence between her and me which contradicted her evidence and a map of the house showing the impossibility of her account -- the police had not thought it necessary to visit the scene of the crime.
Before that, though, came my police interrogation. Off the record they virtually said they thought she was making it up. The sergeant explained that he couldn't be seen to be doubting a woman accusing a man and was greatly offended when I told him what I thought of him ethically for charging a  man he thought innocent. He didn't quite say "but what about my pension". Then they drove me home in case she was there and told me to take care.
CPS decided to prosecute and increased the charge to ABH, thereby guaranteeing a jury trial.
In the interrogation, they kept waving their photo of MW covered in bruises. I explained that I did not consider that to be  evidence against me and I am sure they were genuinely confused. "But look at the photo."
If her new man had hit her, he was hardly likely to say so. I was in trouble.
In fact, when the forensic scientist testified, he said that none of the injuries was serious and none inflicted by another; and that those which were not the kind of accidental injuries we all incur were self-inflicted. She seemed to have hurled herself against a vertical surface that night, he said; and indeed she had, as I had testified; and the rest she had done to herself a couple of weeks later.
No one had punched her in the stomach though she said I had. No one had karate chopped her, though she said I had.
And thus I was acquitted. An estimate of 50000 pounds cost to the public was made. She was not charged with perjury.
On the way to that situation I changed solicitors. The first ones had told me to plead guilty and that forensic evidence was not available. The police refused to release the tapes of my interview saying the law wouldnt let them. When I complained to the Metropolitan Commissioner of Police, he referred it to the local plods; and the local plods wrote to me "I advise you not to write aggressive letters to the police".... and then sent me the tapes.
The first item in the defence testimony was a playing of those tapes i.e. the tapes that had decided CPS to prosecute me were the first evidence offered of my innocence.
Perhaps the CPS were impressed by the photograph; they certainly fought tooth and nail to stop them being examined forensically.
When the police admitted how long it had taken them to take their photographs and were asked why they said "I don't know" and that seems to have been considered adequate.

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