Preliminary Hearing

Knowing when you wake you are facing Crown Court makes it impossible to sleep. Good honest people like us never comprehend that one day we will be going to Crown Court and we will be in the dock. As we were getting ready, I say "come on, you know you are innocent. Today is just a formality, remember you will be fine".

As you go through security, the enormity of the day hits home. I wait the other side of the scanning machine, to grab his hand after he has walked through, as today I am determined to only let go of him when I have to. He needs all the support and strength he can get.

Seeing his name in black and white on the screens still seems so surreal. Honestly, how did it get this far? Why are we at Crown Court? There is no evidence, it is just her word against his, why do the police and CPS believe her over him, why is the man I love having to go through this? He turns towards me and says "Its Court 2, I'm in Court 2". I take a deep breath, start walking and follow the signs to Court 2.

I have no idea what the girl looks like. Will she be here? I go to the cafe and wonder if she is in the queue behind me, is she the woman in front of me or maybe thats her in the corner sitting on her own. Even when I go to the ladies, one of the toilet cubicles is engaged, is she in there? I had already been told she doesn't have to be in court today but I just assume she will be here.

A brief discussion with the barrister to make sure there are no final amendments to the plea and to explain the process of the morning. There are a lot of cases running over, so it turns into a waiting game. 2.5 hours later and his name and his barristers name comes over the tannoy for Court 2.

As I sit in the back of the court room, the formality begins. I see my husband behind a glass cage with a guard like a criminal, looking more and more overwhelmed by the situation. His barrister goes through his case details with the judge. He is asked to confirm his name, address, DOB. The charges are then read out and he is asked to state his plea. Not guilty. The judge is missing his signed proof of evidence, the barrister explains the office had supplied a copy, at which time she looks across at me and I nod that yes I have a signed copy with me. I then give my copy to the court official who gives it to the judge.

His bail conditions are reaffirmed and a date is set for the trial - 8 months later. We leave the court and after setting another meeting date with the barrister we leave the court.

The stress of the day is immense and the realisation of the experience makes me more determined that we have to do everything we can with our legal team to show that she is lying and he is absolutely innocent.

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