Immediate aftermath


Following a conviction, the prisoner is entitled to one phone call. I just knew he wouldn't ring me, he would ring one of his children and I was right. This hurt so much but at least I knew he was ok. The last words I said to Harry in the morning before the day of the verdict were "If this does go wrong, I don't know if I will be able to go in a prison. I don't know if it will be too daunting." What I was actually thinking is I don't want to be associated with 'criminals'. Every part of me wished that I had never said this. I knew those words would be going through Harry's mind and he would probably be thinking he would never see me again and yet as I sat in the car park of the prison the following day, knowing he was in there and I couldn't get in, I was uncontrollable in my car for what felt like hours. I didn't want to leave him and in a silly way, sitting outside the prison was the closest I could get to him.

The days between the verdict and sentencing are now a complete blur. As I went to family and friends telling them the verdict or in a lot of cases having to start from the beginning as we hadn't even told them Harry had been arrested, let alone in court, the pain of having to tell the story again and again and explain why he was innocent and how he could of been convicted was very difficult, particularly as at this stage I didn't truly understand myself.

A member of Harry's family rang the prison and when they came off the phone, they handed me a piece of paper with a number on it. He said, "that is Harry's prison number, you will need it". It was only a series of letters and numbers but looking at it hurt so much. The lies of one person had branded my husband forever. I pictured his face with this series of letters and numbers below, like you see on the TV. During that same phone call, he had arranged the first visit for me and one of his children. The first availability was 10 days time. His efforts to get clothes or toiletries into him were immediately blocked.

The first couple of nights without Harry, I stayed with family who did their best to console me and their kindness was immense but I knew I had to face going home. When I walked in the door, Harry's slippers were there and seeing them made me collapse in a heap. I think it was an accumulation of sheer exhaustion and immense pain, as I knew my once happy content life was never going to be the same again. At this moment, all I wanted was Harry and I knew all he would want was me. I kept telling myself to get up, pull myself together and that Harry was in a much worse place than I was but it just hurt so much.


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