Friday, June 25, 2010

another fine day out with Dad.....

hey everyone

well, i will confess to being rather tired and exhausted at the moment. i probably shouldn't be attempting this update now, but it's fresh in my mind (and Dad is keen to read it), so let me have a go!

as you will recall from my last post, on Wednesday i was the rather brief victim of a pickpocket. well, last night i got a call from the police. it seems that those who are holding a certain event here at the moment are reviewing any and all criminal cases which occur at their events, and took a very dim view of this matter. they were insistent that full charges be brought against the culprit, and i was duly subpoenaed to appear in court as a witness today!

i must say, there was no messing about - the court agenda was cleared to make way for this case as best it could be, and key individuals (prosecutor, witnesses) were rushed from miles away to be there.

first, though, not all cases were cleared. Dad, who kindly and considerately took me to court today, and i got to witness a case that was supposed to be winding up. the suspect in a shoplifting case, let's call them Suspect M, was supposed to plead not guilty and have a date set for trial. Suspect M, however, apparently took a shine to the life of a lag, as they ranted and raved about how good prison was and thus they wished to change their plea to guilty!

it takes all sorts, i guess. it was rather fascinating, mind, to see that the family of Suspect M bring a meal in for them to eat. in the dock!!!

whereas Suspect M certainly seemed to be loving it, neither the court police officer nor the judge were impressed with seeing Suspect M tuck into a Big Mac as the advocates did their thing. the judge was even less impressed with the amended plea given in, but it's not for me to report on that!

anyway, on to the details of my case, or at least the case to which i was a witness. now, i have no idea legally what i can and cannot write of, so all you John Grisham junkies shall have to look elsewhere for full accounts i guess.

(Michele says it's public record and my case so i can say what i like. who knew she had a legal degree or two hidden away?)

the defendant, who to the bewilderment of all in court and had opted to defend himself, started with a very interesting defence indeed. very interesting. he claimed, via a translator, that he was not guilty because he was not there. let us not forget that his claim on the evening, and he has been in police custody ever since, was that it was an "unlawful arrest" as a woman officer was involved.

anyway, how did he substantiate that he was not there? well, in my testimony i stated that the suspect i saw and took hold of was wearing a blue-green turquoise jacket. to counter this, he decided that, with my permission, he would produce the clothing that he wore that evening. the court asked my permission, and thus he produced the jacket he wore that evening. can you guess the colour of it?

yes, that's right, turquoise.

without so much as an explanation or reason given as to how it was that he was there after all after stating that he wasn't, the defendant-defence lawyer then unleashed a bizarre, bewildering range of conspiracy theories about what had actually happened that evening. i was concentrating more on listening to the questions he eventually had for me, as well as to the instructions of the presiding judge, but from what i recall these are some highlights of his version of events.

first up, despite the fact that i had never seen this person before in my life, he claimed that in fact he had gone along with me and my Dad to the event, and we had spent quite some time talking to each other. then, for no given reason, myself and my Dad, in collusion with the arresting officer and a woman whose description and details were not given, decided to frame this chap. apparently, in his words via translation, i gave my wallet to this woman, she ran 3 metres away, i shouted for help, the police officer detained him, the woman then ran back up, gave the wallet to the officer who then gave it to me.

he then asked what would i say if the woman in the above scenario was brought before the court. i answered that as i was unaware of any woman being involved in him putting his hand in my pocket and taking my wallet i would not be able to give any testimony or answers about her other than to say i was unaware of anyone else being involved.

another theory presented was that i had in fact dropped my wallet, and he was simply attempting to return it. can i add anything to that?

one of the more bizarre theories presented, following on from the first one i recalled for you, was that it was my Dad who had taken my wallet and then, feeling a sense of guilt presumably, decided that instead of returning it he would plant it on someone. as at various points in this theory my Dad was in front of me, behind me, next to me and off colluding with the police officer and "mystery woman" about the story, i guess i really need to get my eyes checked as he appeared to be right in front of me all the time!

when the defence lawyer of the decade was asked if he had any more questions for me his response was "no, because all of the things he says are lies".

my Dad was called in to testify after me. i needless to say rather went off outside for a cigarette or three than listen to him, but apparently at one point another theory came out; this time being that it was impossible for the crime to have been committed because the security fences made it impossible. i am not sure if the prosecution advocate or the judge asked him how it was possible for his theory of events to happen yet impossible for my account of events to occur in the light of the security fence factor, but you would suspect it cropped up in conversation.

the verdict? i do not know. me and Dad were exhausted, and decided to head home since it was not long off the time i would need to go and fetch the boys anyway. after us the police officer who detained him was due to testify, and then sentencing would be passed. if i find out, i will let you all know!

how do i feel about all of this? confused, really. on the one hand it's an absolutely horrible feeling, having someone physically remove something from you, but the circumstances - more or less immediate return of my wallet with nothing missing, strong support and assurances from the police and staff at the stadium and then a rapid court case being set - kind of prevent me feeling angry about it all.

one thing is for certain, though - i do feel an overwhelming sense of thanks and gratitude to the police officer who came to my assistance and resolved the matter. i don't know if he will ever see or read this, but thank you for your dedication. this probably goes without saying, but the same level of thanks goes to my Dad. thank you, Dad, for the support and standing by me today.

and how did i show my thanks to Dad? well, mindful of the start of this post and an incident mentioned in my report of the day out on Wednesday, how else could i say thanks other than buying him a McDonalds and a bag of mints?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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