I was doing my best to try and forget about the Jury that didn’t find the guy guilty of attacking me, I was telling the truth throughout and anyone with any common sense would be able to see that it couldn’t have happened any other way. As Scotty from Star Trek would say “It’s beyond the laws of physics Jim” There is no way I could have dragged an 18 stone guy over my desk by the wrist, there was no way I could even reach him over my computer monitor to do so, his version of events was a lie from start to finish, but then it had to be otherwise he would get sent to prison. I was disgusted with the Tactics of his defense Barrister, The Police Investigation, the Farce that was 3 trials, the laughable Prosecution Barrister, but most of all I was disgusted with myself for not conveying what happened to the Jury in a way that would and should have left them “beyond all reasonable doubt”
In order to make sense of this Blog, you need to read this one first
As my front door opened and I struggled in carrying my shopping, I could see a business card on the floor in the Hall, I had seen enough Police officers business cards to know that this was one too, on it was a message “Please ring me” Crikey I thought, what have I done now?
The Officer told me that they had confiscated the firearms off the Guy who had attacked me, when he was arrested, and he’d recently had the cheek to ask for them back, even though he had been found “Not Guilty” the cops had refused his request so that speaks volumes in itself! He wouldn’t take no for an answer and he had re-hired the same Barrister who had defended him previously, and he was taking them to a court of appeal if the Police lost he would get his license back, and his shotguns back, and the cops would be responsible for his costs too, they wanted me to appear as a witness again, but this time on their behalf.
I resented the jury’s verdict more than even I realised, and I launched into an epic rant, which started off “ As much as I like being made to stand up in court and get called a liar after every sentence by some bitch who knows full well that her client was guilty, I’m afraid I will have to decline your offer” “I would rather stick pins in my eyes, than go through all that again” I carried on for about another hour giving him all the reasons why I felt the Police, British Justice, the Crown prosecution service, and the people who make halfwits do Jury service had let me down, at the end of my rant the Police Officer said something like “so that’s a no then is it?”
I ended my call by putting a deal to him, I knew my attacker had a relative who was a high ranking Police Officer, so I said that if the Cops could arrange a meeting, and after listening to my story the high ranking Officer thought that he was really innocent and deserved to get his guns back, I would appear in court as a witness, if not then the High ranking Police Officer could save every bodies time and trouble by convincing my attacker that he was lucky not to be in jail and he should forget about ever being able to own a firearm again. I left that option with him, but the meeting never happened.
A few months later I was contacted by another Police Officer, he asked if he could come and see me, it wasn’t really a question, so reluctantly I agreed. He explained that this time it would not be in front of a Jury, but a Judge and 2 Justice of the Peace, I would have to go through exactly the same procedure, his Barrister would cross-examine me again, it would be no picnic, I wouldn’t get the Justice I deserved, the previous verdict would not be overturned, there wouldn’t be a retrial, this was just to prevent him getting his guns and his license back.
I agreed, but on the condition that I would not be stuck in the waiting room for days on end like I was last time, I would turn up for 1 day, and 1 day only, I would give my evidence, take an ear-bashing and be called a liar off Cruella, then I would go home and I never wanted to hear the guys name again, we shook hands, It was a deal.
I am probably prevented by some Liberal do-gooder law, and couldn’t begin to tell you anyway just how harrowing it is sitting in the witness room. There are several cases going on at once, prosecution Barristers are in and out, and the stories you hear being related are horrifying. I could hear a witness sat next to me, being intimidated on the phone by the defendant she was testifying against, It makes you wonder how this can be allowed to happen and what kind of society we are living in.
So I had been sat there from 9.00 am till 1.00 am, our agreement was out of the window, the Judge had started reading another case first, and we would be next. So I made my way to the Courts Canteen. I was again reminded of the incredibly stupid works of the British Court system. There are separate rooms for Defendants’ and Witnesses, you can only get in the Witnesses room by an assistant punching in a key code. To get into the court, you have to go through a metal detector and be patted down, they had confiscated a small torch that I always carry, because “it could be used as an offensive weapon! My sarcasm was lost on the guy that frisked me when I said “sure that’s what I was going to use it for, I was going to shine the guy who attacked me to death”
I was now sat in the canteen, there were knives, forks, glasses, hot water any amount of things that could be used as weapons, and in walked the guy who had attacked me, he positioned himself diagonally opposite me, and sat there sneering, the whole system is just a joke. My ears were burning and the people he was with kept turning around to look at me, there were plenty of witnesses this time, I sat there trying to look like butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth, but I was seething I really wanted him to start something, this time I was ready, and I would finish it. I wanted the chance for closure, but he didn’t.
At approximately 3.30pm I was told the case had been adjourned and that I could go home, another wasted day!
The new date came through a few months later and the timing would guarantee that my Christmas and New Year would be spoiled if this verdict went against me. I had decided that I wasn’t going to be polite or conduct myself as a Gentleman this time, I would say what I thought and no amount of people telling me to be quiet was going to stop me. if being heard meant that I would get done for contempt of court, then so be it, but no one was going to shut me up or talk over me when they didn’t like my answer!
I was called to the Witness Box, and asked questions by the Prosecution Barrister, this guy was good. I told my story and was then asked to explain what the photographs were of, and which injuries they depicted, and how I had received them. Now it was Cruella’s turn and the familiar “You’re a liar Mr Crampton” filled the courtroom. When she told me her client’s version of events, I laughed, it was just too ridiculous for words. She wasn’t ready for my answer “Wow you’ve changed your version of events yet again, it’s your client that’s the liar, and you know he is too, otherwise, you wouldn’t have had to change your story 4 times to fit the answers I gave you in the first 3 trials! And how can you say that he was trying to calm me down and subdue me when there were punch and kick marks on the back of my shirt, what do you think I was trying to do, hit his fist with my kidneys?
She bit! her answer surprised me and gave me a chance to score some early points, she said that I never gave evidence in the first trial and that if I knew anything about the law I would know that she was allowed to change her story, my reply hurt her “That’s the thing, I’ve told the same story 4 times, but I’m telling the truth” and using a line I borrowed from the film The Highlander, I said “So there can be only one!” version. She was clearly rattled and came back at me immediately, saying that I was a liar, and she had never heard my evidence in the first trial. I told her that she was at best mistaken, but my implication was that she was lying, I invited her to look back through the records, she just ignored me and asked me another question but I continued with my answer to her first question. She began to try to talk over me, and ask me another question time after time. It reminded me of a pop record called La La La by Naughty Boy that was in the charts at the time
I engaged my selective Noise Cancelling Hearing (covered in a separate blog http://bccars.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/just-because-i-like-top-gear-doesnt.html and ignored her question I continued to remind her of the first trial. She kept demanding that I answer her new question, which I did when she eventually gave up and allowed me to answer the first question she had originally asked me. I testified that I had been stamped on, that I had footprints on my shirt and one on my head in blood, my shirt had been lost for several months in Police evidence, the previous Barrister had opened the evidence bag when I distinctly told him not to, it was only sent to forensics 18 months after the incident. The defense Barrister made a big play that they could not identify a footprint, and I said I’m not surprised that a dusty footprint had worn off after 18 months of being manhandled and messed with, but I had taken a photograph of it within a few hours of the incident. The prints that were available in the court were just very poor photocopies of my photos and I complained to the Judge that they were pathetic and there was no excuse as I had supplied them with 8MP pictures on a DVD, and they should have made better copies in order to show the detail and extent of my injuries.
Referring to the photographs, the Defence Barrister said that the pictures were the ones that scenes of crime had taken and supplied. I took my opportunity to point out that she was wrong again and I replied that I had taken the photos she was looking at, again she snapped “you’re a liar!” She wasn’t on her A-game today at all, I asked if I could get my Ipad out to prove it, I could also show them the footprint on my shirt and all the timed and dated pictures in sequence I had taken as the bruising came out. At this point, she objected and said to the Judge “If Mr Crampton wants to introduce new evidence he should have done it before this hearing”, I didn’t want to introduce anything, they already had all my pictures they were just very badly printed, they were already looking at my evidence and I just wanted to prove that she was wrong yet again. The Judge ruled that I wasn’t allowed to produce my Ipad.
I took my opportunity and turned to the Judge and told him that I had taken the pictures minutes after I had been attacked, I asked them to pay close attention to the footprint in blood on my head as it was vitally important that they understand the significance of it, the print was a different shape than the cut that was left underneath when I washed the blood off, this proved “transference” it proved beyond all doubt that I couldn’t have got my injuries when “I went mad and he tried to calm me down and subdue me” It proved that he had stamped on my head at least twice, and he could have only have done that when I was on the floor, as he wouldn’t have been able to lift his leg 6 feet off the ground to kick me in the head, and If he could I certainly wouldn’t have stood in the same place and let him.
I also pointed to the bruising on my lower leg, which showed a perfectly shaped shoe sized and shaped bruise, again to inflict this injury on me, I would have had to be on the floor and him stood over me, otherwise the only injury I could have gotten was off his toes, and not his full flat foot.
Satisfied that I had made my point, and explained it thoroughly enough that even the last jury would have realised that it was the truth. I turned back to Cruella ready for her next question and I recognised the look she was giving me, I used to see in my last Girlfriends eye when I had done something really unforgivable, like using the wrong fork in a restaurant or tweeting a picture of a registration number that looked like it said something naughty, usually with my Girlfriend I had done it completely accidentally and just by being me, but in this courtroom, it was accidentally on purpose. I had gotten right on her nerves, and I could see she was fuming! Cruella went straight for my Jugular, and tried to ridicule me, I set her up with the ammunition. So Mr Crampton where did you get your extensive knowledge of forensics then? “I never miss and episode of CSI Miami” I replied, I couldn’t stop myself from smiling. She couldn’t believe her luck, “You got your knowledge from a TV program?” Before she finished off he theatrical laughter that was for the benefit of the Judge, I said “It doesn’t matter where I got it from does it, we both know I’m right!” she stopped laughing.
It was a good job I had won that point because her next move had me very confused, she produced an AA report which pulled the car I had sold to pieces, she took great delight in asking me to read each line of it out loud to the Judge, the report was very damming. If I had have sold a car as bad as that I would have expected and also deserved a slapping. I countered the report by saying that the things they said were wrong with it, could not possibly have been wrong otherwise the oil warning light, brake fluid warning light, disk pad warning light, and low coolant warning light would have been illuminated and they weren’t! She smiled and I knew that was a bad sign, it was, and she got me.
Wouldn’t that also be the case if the warning lights were faulty Mr Crampton? “Yes it would, but they were working fine”. Turn to the last page of the report Mr Crampton, and read the last paragraph! I read ahead a couple of lines and although I knew that this was complete lies, basically I was f#### I started reading it out, a lot quieter than my cocky replies to her previous question had been “The warning lights on the vehicle were faulty and inoperative. I started thinking out loud, while my brain processed the information, I said “That’s not the report you showed me at the first 3 trials, the report you had was off some oily rag at Kwik Fit who was trying to sell them a car of his own, and if you’d have had a report off the AA you would have used it! I was speed-reading through the report, I really couldn’t believe it, there was only one explanation it had been fabricated. I made a fool of myself and said that report has been made up, it hadn’t, and I didn’t mean that she had made it up, I meant that her Client had, She turned to the Judge and again made a big point of doing her hysterical laughter routine at my preposterous statement she said “Well, I have been called a liar, and now I’ve been accused of fabricating evidence”
I hadn’t done myself any favors, things were looking bad, and even I was starting to think that I had indeed sold a defective car, but then I saw the date on the report it was the 31st of May, 28 days after the incident. The AA had picked up all the faults that the Oily Rag from Kwik Fit had picked up, plus the one about the warning lights, and then it all fell into place and I knew what had happened! I turned to the Judge and said that even if this report hadn’t been fabricated it was dated almost a month after the incident, and he couldn’t have confronted me with it, it wasn’t the report that had been fabricated it was the faults on the car, all the faults were low fluids, easily done by draining the fluids out, the car had been sabotaged, there were no mechanical faults. I knew that they’d had 28 days to tamper with the car and create these faults before the AA guy got to inspect it, I had the Judge’s attention.
I demanded to see the original report, I was convinced that I had been Kwik Fitted Up, Cruella said that was it and I again told her that she was mistaken, and added “Again!” I described the report that I had seen in detail to her, the original was burned into my memory and I demanded to see it, I asked the Prosecution Barrister to search through his previous notes for it, this time it was her that was flustered and as she shuffled through her paperwork, I continued to bend the Judge’s ear with my conspiracy theory, but I knew I was right.
Cruella snapped, she demanded that the Judge removed me from the court as “ I wouldn’t shut up” he didn’t, but he continued to listen to me and then asked me “if the car had been faulty, as it said in the report, what would I have done?”, my answer was that I would have fixed it, or given him his money back, and if the Customer hadn’t wanted it to bring it to me he could have taken it to any VAT registered garage as per the conditions of the written warranty that I had supplied with all the cars I sold. But then I added that his question was purely hypothetical because it wasn’t faulty when it went out. She eventually got the original report from the Kwik Fit guy which was a joke, and I ridiculed it again. I did a bit of my own hysterical laughter when I came to the bit that said “Water pipes touching the Engine” Touching, not only do they touch the engine, they’re attached between the engine and the radiator, LOL LOL LOL, right then, she couldn’t have hated me more if she’d been married to me.
She moved on, then she pulled a photograph out of her briefcase that wasn’t in any of the bundles, she passed it to the Judge and the Justices of the peace, then she asked me to look at it, and confirm that it was my Cabin, it was, and I did. But it occurred to me that she had just introduced evidence, so why couldn’t I. Again I turned to the Judge and said, am I right in thinking that picture has just been introduced without permission, and if she can produce evidence whenever she feels like it, why can’t I produce my Ipad?. A wry smile crossed the Judge’s face and I could tell he was thinking along the lines of “ Smart Arse, why did I bother going to Law School for 10 years when I could have just watched the DVD Box Set of CSI Miami”, then he said “That’s a good question Mr Crampton, does the council for the prosecution want to add anything?”, he did, he wanted to add that my Imy Ipad should be introduced as evidence, this time there was no objection from the Defence, just a deep sigh.
The reason she wanted the Judge to see a picture of my cabin was to show that it was raised off the ground. My 2 witnesses at the trial had testified that they had seen a commotion and had run across to my Cabin, one had pulled the guy off me, and the other had pulled the woman off who was apparently kicking me. The CCTV showed them running across, but then she stopped it and accused me of lying, and also one of my witnesses, this was the first time she had used this and I was baffled, the reflection in the bodywork of a car appeared to show the legs of one of the witnesses as if he stayed outside my cabin, at the time I couldn’t offer a reasonable explanation, she was right it did appear to show this, all I could say was he did come in, I saw him! Then the “You’re a liar, your witnesses are liars blah, blah, blah started again.
On the spot in the Witness Box, being confronted with this evidence for the first time and under intense pressure from her, I couldn’t for the life of me explain it, and She won the round, it did look like I had lied, and if I had lied about that I am sure that could have put enough doubt in a Jury’s mind to get him off with the reasonable doubt thing. I have since studied the tape on a 65 “ Screen in great detail and in step by step motion, they both came in the office but the guy who pulled the woman off stood in the doorway, the reflection of his legs could be seen because the car door was convex shape and the reflection was from in the office and not on the floor, it wasn’t a 90 degree reflection from your viewpoint as would be shown in a mirror, it was reflecting a view from inside my office, she used the element of surprise to throw me off, I couldn’t explain it but perhaps her tactics didn’t work as I stuck to the story that I knew was true no matter how implausible it seemed at the time, and perhaps the Judge had sussed it when I hadn’t.
The next thing she tried to ridicule was my explanation that he had come across my desk, and again it had been something that I had struggled to answer, I had my head turned away when he hit me and jumped over, he came over so fast that I was convinced his punch had dazed me and time had stood still, while he dragged his lard arse across my desk, the thing that troubled me was that I do remember him landing on me with an incredible force, so much so that it bent the steel l shaped panel which attached the backrest of my chair.
Now often when I am faced with a problem, I wake up with the answer, my subconscious works on it till I get the answer. I used to keep a pen and paper by my bed so that if I woke up I could write the answer down, and not go back to sleep and forget it. Now I have an iPhone, so I just type the solution into notes and then doze off immediately.
I could remember being alerted by the sound of a chair moving, but he seemed to punch me and get across the desk in one movement, I couldn’t figure out how he had got the drop on me and I hadn’t managed to stand up, and go toe to toe with him. Time and time again I relived the attack in my thoughts, dreams, and nightmares, but I always woke up in the same place, my subconscious was trying its best to solve the problem for me but it wasn’t working, until one night shortly before this appeal, too late for the 3 trials but just before his firearms appeal I woke up reached for my iPhone and typed in, “Launched himself off her chair” this time my dream had continued past the point where I hear his chair move, he punches me and I wake up, this time I heard another noise, it was her chair moving, and it moved not because she was getting up to join in as I had thought, but because with his right leg he had stood on her chair and launched himself across the desk on to me, like he was a human cannonball, problem solved.
She had asked me the same question in the 3 previous trials and I never had a satisfactory answer, but this time I answered with conviction, and it was so obvious, I don’t know why I had never figured it out before. I am pretty good at reading body language, and hers said FFS!
I’m sure at this point she still hoped that she had done enough to win the case for her client, she had already planted the seed that I was a lying dodgy car dealer, now all she had to do was make me look like an interfering busy body and I was only here because I held a grudge against her client. Cruella asked “Do you know what this hearing is about, Mr Crampton? I replied “Yes, it’s a firearms license appeal” and what’s that got to do with you may I ask? “Well, your Client threatened to kill me, so the last thing I want is to have him running around Preston with a couple of shotguns!”
I could tell that wasn’t one of any of the possible answers that she had rehearsed in her head, or indeed hoped for. She set off with an incredible rant, a whole tirade of insults, punctuated every so often with you’re a liar Mr Crampton. But that was my part in the trial over, the prosecution Barrister took my Ipad back into court, he showed them crystal clear photographs of the footprints on my shirt, head, all the bruises, and I made sure there was a couple of pictures of the car that I sold which looked a million dollars, I wasn’t allowed back in, but my Ipad must have done the trick.
Long story short, he didn’t get his license back.