Friday, October 21, 2005

in chancery: some dispiriting legal plodding

Well, after a jaunty enough beginning, I’ve fallen into a heap again, and it already looks as if my blog’s title’s too ambitious. Weekly, perhaps?

Excuses: bronchitis, engagement with and avoidance of housing co-op work, child-minding, the community centre, and a dispiriting conversation with my lawyer about a crazily serious case against me that stutters along from adjournment to adjournment.

On the latter: I’ve been advised by the lawyer not to talk about the case to anyone (within reason). This seems to be standard legal advice. I suppose this also accords with the awfulness of my alleged crime (for example my name is one of the very few that’s suppressed on the court lists, which brings home to me the scariness of it all), but it’s also very natural, when you’re accused of something as outrageous as this, to want to tell everyone about it, perhaps to try and offload a burden that you feel you don’t deserve to have to shoulder. I mean, I’ve always been of the belief that if something bad happens to you you should blame yourself, if at all possible, but, though I’m sure I could’ve and should’ve handled a few things differently, nobody could’ve predicted that this boy would make this claim, or that I would be arrested and charged on the basis of this boy’s story, without any investigation, or without any evidence as far as I’m aware.

I have to be very careful with matters sub judicae, especially as I’m now writing under my own name, but I don’t believe I’m in contempt of court or anything. I’ve checked this out as far as I’m able, but even so I’ll be cautious, and I’m certainly not going to name names.

I’m dispirited because, at the September adjournment, the DPP’s representative was heard to say to the judge that the case ‘may be withdrawn’. With my usual naïve optimism I interpreted this as meaning that the case would definitely be withdrawn, probably at the next court date. The adjournment in September was due to the DPP rep wishing to obtain a report on the mental health of the plaintiff. I wasn’t sure if this was a delaying tactic or what, but I didn’t think they’d get much info one way or another. I arrived at the October hearing, just over a week ago, fairly confident that this would be my last appearance, but the DPP rep told the judge that she’d just received the report and needed time for deliberation. Another adjournment, to November. And now, a conversation with my lawyer to the effect that the report on the boy’s mental health suggests that there are ‘no problems’, and that there’s no indication that the prosecution will withdraw.

Naturally, all this considerably dampens my spirits, but I have to bear in mind that my lawyer, presumably for professional reasons, tends to cast matters in the poorest possible light. Still plagued by optimism, I’m convinced that it’s a matter of when the prosecution withdraws, rather than if. And when the prosecution at last withdraws, then at last I’ll be free to pursue the meagre courses available to me to obtain just a little bit of justice for myself.


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