The Scapegoat - Part Seven.
The Scapegoat Part – 7.
So, by the time it was court day, the other two lads who had been arrested were told there was not enough evidence against them! So that left only Daniel, my son, The Scapegoat.
We all had our own private, fearful thoughts, Paul and I didn’t tell Daniel our worries but we did talk to each other about them. We didn’t talk about it with Meghan either his sister. Most people didn’t know about the arrests, or the court day, for the less people who knew the better! Every time I thought about the day, my tummy would be filled with butterflies. And so today was the day. We didn’t know which lawyer would be representing him, but we knew who we wanted it to be. Before the trial, Paul and Daniel had gone into their offices and the older gentleman who owns the company spoke with them for about an hour, when Paul and Daniel returned home both said they wanted him to be Daniel’s lawyer in court, and not the one who we all met, on several occasions! He was a bit younger and really didn’t seem bothered! He looked quite tatty, unshaved and half hearted, to me his body language seemed to say, “Here we go again, another guilty youth, who wants me to get him off the hook”! I prayed quite hard, “Please God, don’t let it be him”!
So you can imagine my dismay when I saw it was him on court day!!! Yet even before this day, I’d prayed that if it was him, that I was reminded that He had used an ass in the Bible to help someone! So I was still confident, if it was him, God could still use him to help Daniel, but the natural me, was still gutted!!!
We had told Daniel, that when the other person got up to ask him questions, that their job was to try and make him cross, or upset, we told him not to let that person do that to him, he said, “He wouldn’t.”
People had been saying, like legal* people and Daniel’s friends that he could get up to three* years! Some had said as it’s a first offence, he may get a fine or community service, but for me I only wanted a not guilty verdict, nothing else would do!
So we were first in the courts, it was small not like how I expected it, like I’d seen it on the TV and only we his parents were allowed in and three other people who were taking various notes.
The first victim’s name was called and he came into court, with an Interpreter, he was dressed smart. But it soon became clear to one and all that the Interpreter was not relying what he was saying and that the man himself knew English! Daniel’s lawyer asked for the court to stop and for the man with his Interpreter to leave the room, he and the cross examiner both agreed to the Judge that the Interpreter wasn’t relaying the victims words. When both men returned into the court room the Judge warned the Interpreter that he had to say only what the witness said, he said he would.
You know how I was worried about Daniel’s lawyer; well I didn’t need to, for as soon as he opened his mouth it was, WOW!!! He put me right at ‘ease’ if that’s the right word to use in a court, when your son is on trial! He was, without doubt fantastic! It is SO true you can’t tell a book by its cover! In fact the Judge had to warn him a couple of times as he was that close to the edge! God Bless him!
So, the first witness said what happened, and then the second witness was called to the court, he sent a message that he was too frightened to see Daniel in the courtroom! He wanted to be behind a TV and in another room. The Judge asked the Clerk, “How long has this case been going?” He was told, and then the Judge ordered the man to, “Come in NOW!”
He was dressed in his traditional clothes and spoke perfect English, which looked odd for the man before was dressed opposite to him, yet didn’t ‘know’ English. I had a good look at him, and when he looked over at us I made sure I looked him in the eye. He also said the same story as the man before. Daniel’s lawyer was again ace! Did I say God bless him? Well, God bless him! It was like he was deaf and had selective hearing, to the Judges warnings!
Next it was what I had really, REALLY dreaded, the policeman, he came in and said his bit, and all I kept thinking was, “I saw him with my own eyes, steal the man’s phone,” for surly, who would the Judge believe, the Police and upright, upstanding man of the Community or a fifteen year old youth! For the odds was stacked high against Daniel! Again, I needn’t have worried, for none of that was said in court, for he can’t go into every court and say the same thing over and over again. I don’t even remember what he said, and he was only in the room a very short time. And then it was Daniels turn. We had told him before court day that he would have to swear on the Bible, he said he wouldn’t do it! I said, “Why not?” He said, “It would be disrespectful, to swear ON the Bible,” we his parents explained to him, what it meant, that he promised to tell the Truth and nothing but the whole Truth, and that people of other religions made their promise on their religious books, it meant that he was been respectful, and loved the Bible enough to be 100% honest! So he’d said he would, do it.
He took the stand. I was nervous; he was asked what had happened on the evening he was arrested. He told the court, “He saw two lads attacking a man, he and his friends asked them to stop, then another man came to help him the man who was been attacked and he too was attacked! The blows, kicks and verbal abuse were bad on both men, I tried to drag them off the men and ran off when the police arrived, for I knew if I stayed, it wouldn’t look good, I wouldn’t be believed.”
He was cross examined, and he stuck to his story. Then he was told to sit down again between Paul and myself. The Judge spoke.
He said,” It is 100% clear to me, both attackers has been described by BOTH witness and neither of the attackers look anything like you, in hair colour and build, therefore I find you not guilty, you are free to go.” Those are the most sweetest words I ever heard! “I find you not guilty, you are fee to go.” We both thanked the Judge, and Paul added for “Been fair to Daniel”. I text my Mum and Meghan first, then others throughout the day. I was SO relieved and so was Daniel.
I remembered to instantly thank God, when I heard the verdict. Outside the room we told the lawyer he was, “Fantastic” and thanked him over and over again. I did get a glimpse of one of the victim and although I was very happy, was sad that such a nasty crime had been committed against him and nothing now would be done about it, they had got away with it! For there was no justice for the victims, for their attackers are still at large!
Daniel was glad to get his clothes back; it took a while, for the police had not been informed, that he was innocent all along. They should have listened to the victims, and read their written descriptions of the two who ran away.... instead they ‘held on’ to The Scapegoat.