The foreman of the jury stood and silence fell in the court room. He went through the formalities then answering the Judges final question he said ‘We find the defendant Guilty of all charges.’
The defendant who had been stood in the dock looking straight ahead now held his head in is hands. ‘Why me, Why now? The solicitor said they couldn’t find me guilty there wasn’t enough evidence.’ He thought to himself looking up with tears welling in his eyes towards his family who had supported him throughout just in time to see his girlfriend storm out of the court with tears streaming down her face.
Imagine if you were the defendant or the girlfriend what would you feel like? Let down by the system? I did I was that girlfriend. The defendant in the real case got a two year sentence for crimes he did not commit and was told he would serve one. His Barrister told him he could not appeal the decision. Now he’s home and we are starting to get our lives back on track.
In the case there was a lot of conflicting evidence and every couple of weeks the prosecution would change a date or a location of an event. They even said that he had been in contact with one of the defendants over the years, yet he had not seen her since she was a toddler. The Jury took no notice of the defenses evidence and testimony and the judge took no notice of the probation officers report.
After he was sentenced he was taken down to the holding cells to await transport to the local prison. We were told that we could go down and see him. When we got there we were told that he had already gone and we would have to contact the prison to make a visit appointment. We rang up but were told we would not be allowed to see him that day and would have to come the next day. Luckily this prison was just 20 minutes away from us.
While he was at this prison we could visit him once a week and some weeks it was the only chance he got to leave his cell. At times the prisoners were locked in their cells for a hole week, even though they were supposed to get exercise.
A short time into his sentence he was moved to a prison further away. We were not contacted by the prisons and he was not given a chance to contact us straight away, so we did not know for a day or so and we had a visit booked. We only got to visit him once a fortnight with one extra visit a month if we were lucky. But this prison was a lower security prison and he was able to move around the wing freely he even has his own key for his ‘pad’.
I believe that trial by jury should be scrapped as emotions can lead to wrong decisions being made.
This is just on this occasion a lot of the time the right decision is made.