I think it goes without saying that the start to day 4 was particularly challenging. Harry knowing he was back on the stand and yet to be cross examined by the prosecution barrister, whilst all the time having the accuser and the accusers friends in the public gallery bore their glare into the side of his head. Needless to say, the accuser was very comfortable and familiar with being in court and was continuing to impact the jury by sitting crying in the public gallery comforted by her friends. My attempt to tell Harry to ignore them was futile. He had no support in the public gallery at this stage because none of his witnesses were able to sit in the public gallery until they had given evidence.
Harry finished around lunch and the relief it was over was apparent.
What I haven't mentioned thus far is the overzealous involvement of the police officer with the prosecution. From day 1, he was evidently pushing for a conviction. As I sat in the corridors on day 1 and 2 and they didn't know I was related to Harry, I witnessed his involvement with the accuser and accusers family which was too familiar with frequent outbursts of laughter. On the first day of the trial, he plonked himself next to the prosecution barrister and our barrister got the judge to move him to the public gallery. During this lunch break, myself, Harry and all of Harry's witnesses were stood outside the front of the court and we all saw the police officer shouting in the face of the prosecution barrister. I wish to this day that I had recorded it on my phone. It was certainly an unhealthy involvement. I did mention it to Harry's barrister and she questioned the prosecution barrister but she just denied it.
That afternoon I went into organisation mode again and for the first time all week I felt I could add something useful. Prior to the trial, I had provided our barrister with the list of witnesses and against each witness, the evidence they were able to provide and which counts their evidence related too. The witnesses therefore went in chronological date order. I therefore flitted around making sure everyone was okay and knew which order they went in. There were 10 witnesses but as they were all nervous, never having been in a court room, let alone giving evidence, they were taking some organising and calming down. They were each seen by a legal support person before they entered in case they had any further questions.
As each witness went in, the relief on their faces as they came out increased as the toll of the long afternoon showed. Whilst I was distracted helping everyone else, I knew that it would be my turn too soon. I was only there as a character witness but I was nervous I would get emotional answering questions about my husbands character and trying to put into meaningful words just what a truly lovely man he was and how I had witnessed him with lots of children and never had any concerns. The court stopped for a break again, the barrister came out and she said, ‘I am not going to call you now, I think Harry’s good character has been portrayed by the other witnesses’. I am not sure whether relief or disappointment was the greater of the emotions. Have the other witnesses truly portrayed the man I know he is?
I stayed in the corridor until the defence witnesses had finished and then actually that was the end of the day, the judge had opted for an early finish - again.
Interestingly I have only just noticed that through all of the previous blogs and this one, I keep referring to Harry’s legal team as ‘our barrister’. The reality has only sunk in as I write these blogs just how involved and consuming the process was for me. At the time, all I was concerned about was Harry but looking back I can see the trial had a profound effect on me too. Sometimes it takes putting pen to paper to realise.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!