CHAPTER EIGHT COURT
Self talked a good talk, but the Wiley prosecutor punchy and on top of his game, knew that the Jury would probably convict. Mr. Ahmadi’s family had to be considered. His mother and sisters had flown in from Italy, if he thought there was less likelihood of conviction he could consult with the family of the deceased as well as the prosecuting authority itself but realistically, given that she was seen wandering the streets with the murder weapon, it would be foolhardy to accept that plea.
Now just to be clear, clarified self. All I am saying is IF my lady accepts that she did it, would you then take a plea of guilty to manslaughter for her? At the moment my instructions, are perhaps changeable if not unclear. Counsel to Counsel?Gary, the CPS won’t have it let’s bat on here is my witness list, I have some authorities. He hands over the pristine paginated authorities.
Lawyer is talking to another lawyer in front of Lucy. Lucy is not really awake, she is heavily sedated.
Holme house prison, a rainy day in 2012.
Yes Joe, The searches take longer than the last time I was here. I pulled over into the lay by to take a call before I go in. Got the pupil with me Self will have to take over
Pretty soon the pupils are on there feet.
‘Hope you know your criminal procedure, you’ll need that in the magistrates/ her pupilmaster said.
Tired of trying to schmooze, she looks forward to being free to be Judged on her advocacy. This means the questions she asks and the efforts she puts into her speeches.
In the first case, she appears at a little magistrates court, she was up all night researching the driving offences her client was charged with, Careless driving, failure to give a specimen of breath and no insurance. Before her is silver haired and quite drunk old lady. Pearls on, she marches over and demands to talk about the incident
‘ no the incident makes it sound like I was guilty’ many different stories had been given by this time, one in the police interview, another to Lynne’s solicitor Sara. Her proof was contradicting what she Lydia Coleman was saying.
What happened, tell me in your words please and everything that is relevant.
Well I was upset my Dad and partner both died on the same day a year ago, here is the newspaper cutting so I might have had a drink I couldn’t remember but I would not be drunk I wan to challenge the testing breath test equipment Martin didn’t seem to think they would get funding, it is an unusual offence.
They go in, reading a little from handwritten notes and with a gracious and gentile opponent who perhaps is kind enough not to pick up a frightened pupil on minor points , she graciously loses. Only three points were received, still a blow insurance and pride wise. There isn’t a clever ending or anything it Just happens like that some days. The little court has seen over the years so many different people walk in and out, sometimes they don’t walk out. Not for a while anyway. The court staff run that world, they can make or break a lawyer’s day.
Two bouncer’s came next. The first trial that lasted two days for the pupil and she won. Learning that nerves would not help anything Lynne drank a lot of chamomile tea and gets twelve hours sleep to get ready for a battle the next day. her room at home looks messy but in a new way. before, cds, ipods and straighteners littered the floor, make up drawers overflowed. Her clothes were half on the floor half off. Now there was a neat bookshelf with labeling on it in places. It was like a family in her chambers. Each person seemed difficult to get along with at first too her. She had had a really rough year so far, a car accident, labarynthitus and Just not feeling ready. Somehow they made her feel so shy or inadequate really they did, thing is the landscape it is truly beautiful despite the snow and the graffiti.
I’ve researched capacity yes, to give instructions. I have my criminal law texts with me ha-ha. Got chocolate for the way home and a spare pen. Stopped feeling nervous as I approach the area where I will be searched.
Can you open that bag too please, the chubby security guard had puffed outside. His gut hanging over his belt. His little chubby face looking hot under all the layers.
So I get through security and ask to speak to the client.
Mad, mad as a snake, she is mad. Unfit to plead possibly. She is probably guilty of murder.
She is not willing to talk to anyone except for me.
I know they will only let us speak through the glass Lucy…
She is only able to speak to me through glass. She might be a risk. How I am not sure as what could she do without a weapon? With two disinterested security guards nearby.
She’s on remand. From what I can gather the evidence is fairly weak.
I open another page on the blue book and untie the pink string from the brief.
Good morning Miss I am your barrister. Do you understand why we are here? You have been charged with murder.
As Sienna Miller lookalike Flick walked back along via del cursor, Roma in the late afternoon sunlight, wondering about a youngish impish Italian called Augustino and what waist trousers he NOW wears, Lucy Mathew dreamt fitfully in her cell, a dream akin to a poor Bollywood Movie. A Hindi Movie plot. She turns several times, pictures of lost hopes and long lost friends come to her, she tries to reach out to her father, her mother but they cannot hear her. This is the world of the identical, paranoid, murderous twin with amnesia. All publishers groan in unison, amnesiac, twin like, madness sodden murderously. A Novel, that will cleanse my soul and allow me to be fit to enter In-dia, the land of all of my dreams… and probably some elephants.
Her diary can be used in evidence………She has confessed
They didn’t see it coming either of them why would you suspect that your is hacked. That every movement you make is being recorded by a person unknown to you. Apart from the very paranoid, who pretend to be far more stupid than they appear. The patter category has a back up plan. People may think they are nuts but if she was brave enough she would sing more than a canary to the police. They would all be banged up now. She would keep phone upon phone upon phone and you would never catch her. Even if you did wait for her as she was leaving her hose, she would make sure that her Dad never has to appear on TV. and cry for his beloved daughter while you spread lies about her that no one is powerful enough to rebut. If she was not weak, the hypothetical strong one, then maybe she would smash every bit of technology that is caging her in, like the real luddites and their weaving machines. Smash, hulk smash smash the iphone four. The radio, most importantly the computers. Did you know they can even track you in a room somehow with a we cam. I know it sounds crazy but it is true. If she had been stronger then maybe the gang would not have know where she was going that morning. They would not have been able to send a pumped up on roids friend with a little knife, the most deadly to finish her off. But he didn’t do that, the nature of the cruel worm is that they make other’s suffer to inflate their shriveled self. So I will come for you both first. Mum says I DON’T HAVE TO GO TO THE DOCTORS IF I DON’T WANT . my AUNTY WILL GET THE LAST LAUGH THEN, MY COUSINS ARE ALL DOING WELL. so I CAN KEEP MY BIBLE AND MY KNIFE WITH ME. I THINK.MY KNIFE. I OWN HIM. I OWN THIS FAMILY. YOU BELONG. YOU ARE A THING.
I saw you in many lifetimes. I hope the waiting in this one will soon be over. I love you always xx………………… this is the last message I read before I went to buy the knife. I love him so deeply, so strongly, no one can pull me away, no one can sever my obsessive rope. The rope that links me to you. Even when you stare fixated at my shallow friend, adroit and buttressed I will hold onto you and the dream of you until my mind is taken from me. You will never understand that the moment I saw you reyes, your nose and mouth I knew that I would hold you. I will own you. I will die before I abandon my heart’s deepest wish. The plan has not even been hatched. The clothes have not been even considered let alone bought. The fame I desire will bring you to me. The money, the houses I would decorate. The languages I would learn to compete with Lorna. The food I would leave to go cold, leaving me hungry so I cold change. The silence I would endure. The marriages of convenience, to make you forget me. Forget the old shy, broken, me. I will appear again one day, a new person. The person will not cry. She will captivate you. You ill forget about the others. I will be your first thought when you sleep and when you awaken. You will love me one day. You will cry if I kiss another man.
Maybe the truth is that you did not ever leave a message in the newspaper for me. Maybe I was wrong when I came to your house with the knife. But, at the time, well. At the time I felt that you wanted to see me and hold me too. I think hat you didn’t get the daily messages and you must have meant to ring me back. Didn’t you? You did, you sent the messages that is why I ran to find you.
I will find you. I will come for you to India. I will travel to Hindustan and find you. You must be alive. If you are not alive, or if you are now married, how do I forget you? How do I forget your skin. Tell me how I remove the hope that there is redemption from this peanut brain. Or is there a comfort in mindless unwarranted devotion. Comfort me that you will fix the loneliness and fetch me. To collect me from the station and sit with me in this train.
‘Lucy Mathew, who are you talking to?’
Your lawyers are here, give me that pen
‘Shut up, Just for a minute. Listen. He wanted to see me, he loves me listen,’ Lucy Mathew says.
Listen this is what he said to me, he does remember me, he love me you stupid cow.
‘ I saw you and fell in crush/lust at third sight! Damn your lustrous tones and green eyes they get me every time...sadly you are attached, so I'm stuck on the periphery looking in’…. he is talking about me. He is talking about me,
The indictment set out her full name. Lucy Mathew.
No of her family bothered to visit her ever. Despite her father’s early proclamation of loyalty. Like pork she was now a dirty meat. The women of the family had spoken. Most went back to India to hide form all this.
Listen listen listens to me. listens to me. I have to tell you about the leaflets. Please go and get the leaflets. They are watching me thought the computer; they are trying to kill me. Please find the leaflets. Back on the landing they laugh at her. She is a posh girl. She probably shouldn’t be in here, should be in a mental hospital but she isn’t the only one. Why don’t you Just fuck off, one girl says to her every single day. Three long months on remand so far. The cruel irony of a prison called Holme House is lost on her now
Lucy’s hair is shorter now and that type of second-class gingery blonde that brunettes go when blonde isn’t meant to be. One of the girls from Iran offered to help her do it, it seemed more fun than Just listening to her own thoughts or trying to forget that JJ was apparently dead, although I don’t believe that for an instant. Just looks wrong one of the Jurors thinks. I want you to hold me she thinks, its too cheesy to say. She is looking into the small eyes of the man who has taken her out that night as they ask her questions. He is giggling in a way that makes him look about seventeen and she wishes he would stop fibbing to her. Every bump is a thrill. Sometimes I love being me, she thinks. Every sight makes some feel awake. especially when I look at myself in the mirror.
Tell me how this all happened they asked her. In her hand is a knife, with what looks like congealed blood on it. I’m sort of hoping it could be a Joke, maybe it’s really the first of April…………
The cell doors clink in the next-door cell they attempt to take a history from Lucy Mathew again.
Please tell me everything, everything you can remember. Did I imagine the bloodied knife in her hands? Who could anger this angel, who could tell from her little mouse’s face that she would hurt even an animal. The maze of back gardens where the thermal imaging cameras found her using a helicopter could not hide her for long. No body has been found, there were reports from neighbors, a disturbance. She vaulted over fences trying to lose the cops. She flew over the fences like a witch on a fast broom. No one could catch her is what she heard. Catch me if you can. See me fly faster that peter pan on speed.
The chopper got her. The heat seeking cameras tracked the girl as she tried to hide behind wheelie bins.
I said to him, tears fell down her peachy cheeks, this is what I want to tell you about.
‘Tell me the price of your love. Is it for sale, to a slightly used girl”?
Out of the cell now, Lucy Mathew says to Mr. Self that she cannot remember.
Where is my MAC? Where is my impassioned lipstick? Where is my dog? Where is my so chaud red MAC lipstick? Where are my paints? Where are my copies of ELLE magazine? Where is face book? And all the holiday photos and girl posing wooden afraid of a bad shot? Where are my own bed and my pJs? I don’t get it. Why was I running? Who is the voice I can hear saying my name. Where is my mother? Where is my father Where is my mother Where is my father. Where is my mother Where is my father.
CALM DOWN, LISTEN??
Ok, I’LL TELL YOU. But Just once. Pandora Radio is no longer available in England. If your IP address doesn’t say U, S of A then forgets it.
Pandora Radio was a wonderful thing. It allowed the Musical Human Genome Project to Asses what other music you might like from the songs you had already chosen. So that, if for example you were listening to Gwen Stephani, or as Johan used to pronounce it Stephanie, then it might suggest that you listen to say My Chemical Romance, or the Sugababes.
Gotcha, thanks , but how does this explain why we are both here, why is Pandora Radio so important???
Lucy Mathew? Please tell me why you had the knife and whose blood was on the knife you were not injured and two people have gone missing that you knew?
The penalty if convicted is life.
‘ Strawberry fields for ever.’ ‘ et me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry fields Nothing is real And nothing to get hung about Strawberry fields forever Living is easy with eyes closed Misunderstanding all you see It’s getting hard to be someone, but it all works outwit doesn’t matter much to me Let me take you down, ’cause I’m going to Strawberry fields Nothing is real And nothing to get hung about Strawberry fields forever
calm down please calm down.
The police have all of your computer records. You have to help us; we cannot do this without you.
‘I want to tell you about Pandora Radio. ‘
I’m sorry I can’t take instructions form you. The trial starts next week. I will have to speak with the doctor. She may be unfit, I don’t know though, might be play acting. I will have no alternative but to test the Crown’s case Joanne. The barrister mutters to the solicitor as she leaves the prison.
The Doctor is hear to talk to you. Sit still or we will restrain you again
The two lawyers look at each other. It’s going to have to be a question of Just testing the evidence. She is not fit to give instructions. Lets see what the shrinks says eh?
Um yes of course I have someauthorities for you too, self told the prosecution......they are in the boot of my car, will get the pupil to fetch them, usher said there will be a few delays this morning god knows when we will get on.
The men pop to the robbing room for a coffee. Seen Dunking biscuits Gary, his opponent said. ‘ This place really has gone to the dogs’.
Self tried to explain re Alice that even though no body had been found. Alice's body was not needed to prove the crown's case for her murder. Lynne knew this. She had read during her case prep that in respect of charges of murder without a body, it was difficult to prove of course however inferences can be drawn where the evidence supports such a conclusion.
the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Goddard, saying that "things had moved on since the days of the Camden Wonder" and also
"… it is equally clear that the fact of death, like any other fact, can be proved by circumstantial evidence, that is to say, evidence of facts which lead to one conclusion, provided that the Jury are satisfied and are warned that it must lead to one conclusion only."
Whether or not a person is fit to plead is said to be determined in accordance with common law. The leading case of Pritchard set the standard, look it up Lynne and the McNaughton rules, said Self to his pupil. The pupil then goes away to research, something she should have done earlier. A trainee barrister should be more on the ball she says to her mum when she gets in, covered in rain from standing at the bus stop for what felt like a long time.
Is the prisoner mute of malice, or is he is of sufficient mind to comprehend the proceedings? Can she comprehend the proceedings that is the issue boomed the prosecutor, a Junior wakes up knocking his knee on the wooden bench. Was I snoring, what a twat if so. Loss of memory though hysterical amnesia does not amount o unfitness to plead if the accused is otherwise fit or normal at the time of the trial.The Junior for the Crown forgot his brief, he has picked up an old robbing room brief and is pretending that he is up to speed. The leader is on to him but too much of a gent to say. A paranoiac who had irrational challenges to Jurors has been held fit to plead before, as has a high degree of abnormality, ipso facto this does not amount to a legitimating of the Defendant being unfit., reads Lynne. The Judge will determine whether she is unfit, Mr. Self and his stunningly good looking solicitor, married to an Iranian she had eyes as blue as the Mediterranean on a good day, not the polluted bit. It was hard to keep the family members updated with all of the other legal work he had to do and having the luxury of a partner being at Court made life a little easier for trial counsel. The non harridan pupil was doing her bit too, he noted pleased that she was coming out of that inexplicable shy phase. ‘ Please could you both Just stick to the facts and summaries the reports for me and stop that whittering at the back, the learned Judge is growing tired of people chatting at the back, it is distracting really is. She is fit to stand trial. Oh. Tired hands holding Mont blanc pens breathe out, yet do not sigh. Were they to sigh their contempt would be apparent. Their contempt must not in any circumstances become apparent. This is an absolute. A further absolute is that under no circumstances must anyone piss off the Judge, unless you are his equal and Self was of insufficient call. Hell, everyone is of insufficient call for that one. Even those of suffiicent call and the ability to really not give a toss, would naturally seek to do their best to persuade the Court to their side, with the least possible aggravation all round. Clarity and Brevity were aimed for, the show seemed to be lost on Lucy who was almost, oh Christ is she rocking, self felt his collar garrote him even more than it had done that morning and his wig and gown or hat and coat as they are termed by some felt as heavy as the Court’s canteen breakfast. Flaming Nora.
The Judge kept an eye on her though, he himself was not entirely convinced that the men in white coats had got in right this time. Of course he was bound by their opinion, that was the law. Part way through the trial he contemplates whether to stop counsel and decides that there should be a further assessment, but decides against this as she seems to be following events and counsel has not raised anything with him, from either side of the Bar. There was nothing to prevent a second hearing of the issue of unfitness to plead. Slowly it might be said Lucy was regaining her faculties. She closed her eyes and endeavored to follow what was happening. But it was hard, all she could remember was the screeching , was it her screeching and that was that. The last memory she had of J was in a big warehouse with silver jigsaw pieces on eh floor. Looking at the Jude’s handsome yet serious face, she wasn’t sure that this would help. Best mention it to Mr. Self later, he’ll be pleased that she as at least come up with something. He will stop worrying about just being ‘ in a position to test the evidence’ then. Lucy Mathew notices that the prosecutor bumbles through his opening. The names of the witnesses seem to be new to him. The elements of the offence for your consideration are that a person may be found guilty of murder when a person unlawfully killeth any reasonable creature in rerum natura under the Queens’ peace with malice aforethought.There are three defences to murder diminished responsibility, provocation and killing in pursuance to a suicide pact, these are specific to murder.They had tried, her defence team to see if there was any way the crown would accept a plea to manslaughter on the basis of diminished responsibility, this was a frail hope given what the shrinks had said. But there was still evidence of earlier depression and a potential question mark over whether someone as little as Lucy could have not only stabbed Johan Ahmadi in the way that forensics said but also have seemingly held him for some time, he was verging on emaciation when found and dragged him to such a building, perhaps there were signs of maltreatment that were not in keeping with her involvement. When the Prosecution talk about Alice, Lucy starts muttering her name, repeating it so much that the Judge starts to feel nervous and hot.
Alice, Alice alice. Her cheery grin appeared from time to time in the papers. Her locks surrounded an optimistic face. God protect her, god protect her her father would cry out at night. The little girl he knew had been taken he was sure of it. Perhaps she would be found safely in Cyprus, but at that black moment he felt that she was gone. He had his doubts about whether the girl in the dock did it. And no body had been found but still. Johan was found. His body had been stabbed over 100 times, mainly in the face suggesting the murderer was emotionally tied to him in some way. The photographs of the injuries are handed to the Jury members. The Jury members include a retired policeman who eyes Lucy’s shiftiness and also her low cut top that is now stained with food. According to the whippet thin prosecutor there was sufficient evidence to be satisfied so that the Jury members were sure that Lucy Mathew was guilty of the murder of Alice and her lover Johan. Johan had also been Lucy Mathew’s boyfriend. It was a simple case of Jealousy. She had been found roaming the street with a knife. No body has been found in relation to Alice, however her DNA was found on the Defendant’s sleeve and on the knife she was found to be carrying.
During this opening, the Judge His Honour Judge Pride pauses the prosecutor.
Hang on a moment counsel, I’m sorry but this is directed to you Mr. Self, ‘ If you roll your eyes at the Jury one more time during the crown’s opening I will be forced to discharge this Jury’. Your Honour I, …. Mr. Self stood up to protest and yet somehow his energy failed him in the face of Judge Pride. ‘ Um can the Jurors please be excused.? ‘No’ ‘ I’m obliged so be it, inter alia. He sits down with a slight bump. His opponent grins, wonders if he can go for a smoke in a while, but there is some potting to do first. Fish in a barrel, shooting fish in a barrel. Old Boy that’s not going to wash. Get her to plead if you’ve got any sense, all said with a grin. It’s good fun some days cops and robber. Closest thing a person can get to gladiatorial combat away from ancient Rome.
Lucy wonders why her trial counsel Mr. Self does not question the policemen very much. The Court smells a bit of mould. The carpet is what she usually stares at, it's blue with green triangles on it, worthy of a trip. She sees a few of the Jury seem to chuckle and look at each other when he half heartedly suggests that perhaps the police were mistaken when they say they found Lucy with the bloody knife. They had set her up, she told him that why is he keeping his eyes in his papers like he's ashamed. He did say he really didn’t think there was much of a chance of success. He was lithe and blue eyed, she could tell he pitied her when he took off his gold rimmed glasses for a moment and comforted her as she sobbed all over the desk in the cell that time.Her lawyer didn’t stand up to challenge him about how wrong all the witnesses were, she had never bought a knife from a shop and ther was no receipt. Does Self not remember what I said. She wondered if she knew what was what. The Judge fell asleep and Lucy Mathew was shocked to see that the first witness came and went, a policeman, what did he say, she couldn’t tell you now. There were voices all around so she couldn’t concentrate. She seems so nice, that’s all I can remember about this. Alice, Jo, Ireland, knives Newcastle, Manchester, what do you mean. Maybe she is now wailing.The first victim, Alice has been particularized on the indictment, whilst her body has never been found. It is the case that the Defendant can offer no reasonable explanation. And she has confessed. Someone gasps in the public gallery the press write furiously in their note books. The odd wigged counsel walks in and out bowing after catching the Judges eye wondering if their sentencing exercise can go ahead. It’s Just a plea in mitt can you push me up the list, is this whopper going ahead then?
I will adjourn for reports, said His Honour Judge Pride on the final day of the trial, thank you counsel. Wondering whether it was too late to do any last minute Christmas shopping they all trip off to say Tata to the family members, witnesses and solicitors respectively awaiting them. Mr. Self treads back to chambers, her one, her counsel. Boy had he tried. He had really pushed for the third psychiatrists report, she could not have play acted that well. He might appeal, try and get her out. Self made a compelling argument.
When her counsel Self got back home later on he ponders the day that was. Instead of having a sit down and a cuppa, in front of fifteen thousand to one the historical tv drama with a descendent of Noel Edmunds (a quasi religious figure in 2070), he starts drafting grounds to appeal to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division in another case. And another set, another more. At this rate he'd be getting an name for himself, he sighs somewhat depressed. Fuck, this was a bad feeling, the fiftieth appeal this year. Especially with his best mate having not only won on a murder when he'd lost but having cracked last weeks trial and having enjoyed a week of golf. Bastard. He tried to cheer himself up with bravado. Got back and instead of having a sit down and a cupper, he starting drafting grounds to appeal again to the Court of Appeal Criminal Division.He is drafting the same grounds again and come to think of it the witnesses were the same as yesterday were they not, he asks Lynn who now has a dogs head on a pupils body. She is still faultless as a pupil even with this somewhat unexpected development. He imagined the chambers meeting...
' First on the agenda is a request for liposuction cover, or a contribution towards liposuction required by Miss Dotty Rasher, our newest tenant. She has been dissuaded from requesting an operation to pin her ears back as this would be going too far. Several Nodd. Then we have the tenancy application for Lynn, Selfy give us a run down of her good points?
Well, I don't know whether many of you have had a chance to touch base with lynnie lately, but she well she was educated locally. She loves her Mum and she is suffering from a mutation I accept that means she has the head of a canine. Yes, Yes Kirsty she was seen outside licking her well, what I mean to say is that the reports are good, she is said to be a wonderful advocate.
' Are you suggesting that the ability or inclination to sniff butts in Court is more important that being able to string a sentence together. That growling and biting have become the hallmark of a decent counsel?? said one no nonsense member who had some said fornicated her way at least part of the way up the slippery pole.
Shit, he'd fallen asleep yet again, his rest perforated by the endless drafting of grounds to appeal, always unsuccessful. Dog's head?
He goes for a pee and thinks his job might be a bit shite sometimes. Sniffing out the last of the mature cheddar to make cheese on toast he feels a bit happier with some tea down him. He needs to get out more.