2 weeks after Harry was charged with 35 counts of indecent assault (later reduced to 15), I got an email from the solicitor with the intial disclosure from the prosecution. I was keen to read it for myself and at this stage I still believed that once we dissected the evidence that they had charged him with, we would be able to show that Harry hadn't done anything. The initial disclosure was just the charges, case summary and prosecution witness statements.
I remember printing it off at work and reading through the charges and case summary, still in complete disbelief that this was happening. There were charges that were exactly the same, years that didn't correspond and words that I just didn't understand! I made a list of all the errors in the charges, only to be told by the solicitor, "don't worry they will get amended several times between now and trial". Also several of the charges were between two given dates that were two years apart, so not a specific date or incident where you could try to remember "I wasn't in the county or country that day". It was just 'she said he had made her masturbate him when she was between the ages of (for instance) 7 and 8'. How do you provide evidence to disprove you weren't in a non-specific location in a two year period?!!!
We still had no detail of the 'evidence' that the police had, no transcripts and therefore we were still really in the dark about what we had to do to show that these allegations didn't happen. We were still trying to respond to the allegations on the points that Harry could remember from his initial interview several months earlier. I now realise that the legal system doesn't rush and everything is pulled together at the eleventh hour. In hindsight we did have time to prepare our thoughts before the trial, however at that stage, I remember feeling helpless that we didn't have more of the detail around the allegations and therefore weren't able to present anything to disprove her false accusations. I was still convinced if I could just see what she was saying had happened, we would be able to show this didn't happen and we would be able to stop this rollercoaster from running off the tracks.
I now appreciate that this rollercoaster was not going to stop. I kept thinking that if the police had no evidence, the CPS wouldn't be able to pursue this. I was very naive at this time - and desperately hopeful. This rollercoaster was on full speed to trial and in historical sex cases they don't need evidence......
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!