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Bill Fieldings brother, Harry, was arrested for assault. It was a case of mistaken identity. Firstly he was a pacifist like his brother and secondly he was drumming at a gig 50km away at the time of the alleged assault. The complainant was well known around town as a her use of hard drugs, namely ice, and noisy parties.

The judge knew that Harry wasn’t guilty but obviously had to go by the law books and handed him the lowest possible sentence. A low fine and Apprehended Violence Order (AVO hereafter) and to stay more than 100 metres away from her residence. He paid the fines and took the long trip to his brothers and parents house for 12 months.

Several months later, Harry had the police on his door. The complainant alleged that she saw Harry driving past her house more than once, thus breaaching his AVO. It simply wasn’t true. The out of hours judge looked like a tramp and bailed Harry to appear in a few months. In the past, Bill had been in her house briefly and knew that the road couldn’t be  seen from within. There was a 3 metre solid wooden fence. He actually commented on how private it was. The complainant cheerfully agreed. She wasn’t the brightest star in the sky.

She would later allege that Harry was sending her threatening text messages. The police can check both phones for such activity. They didn’t bother. They knew that she was lying. This would work in Harrys favour. She never stopped to think that the phones could be checked? Drugs? Alcohol Stupidity? Who knows? Who cares? This write suspects a combination of the lot.

It was obvious by her behaviour and appearance in court that she was on the drug ice. She was dressed shabbily and looking around grinning as if the case was already won. She was in for a slap in the face. The judge looked at the documents for the case and said, “Is this it?” Harrys lawyer said, “Yes ma’am.” She rolled her eyes. The judge then briefly flicked through half off the documents and flippantly brushed them aside as if they were a waste of  time.

Bill was now getting the feeling that the judge had dealt with the complainant before for similar matters. She was chasing Victims Of Compensation money. In order for this to happen, Harry would have to be convicted of a crime. Bill was feeling ever-confident.

Harrys family and 2 middle-aged friends were called to the witness stand. Bill went first. He refused to swear on the Bible. The judge asked if he was an Atheist. Bill said, “I am, ma’am.” The judge asked him if he swore to tell the  whole truth and nothing but the truth. “I do, ma’am,” said Bill. The Prosecution began by asking if Bill was Harrys brother. Bill couldn’t help himself, “You’ve got the paperwork,  Einstein. Of course I am.” Bill  noticed the judge smirk to herself. ‘Gotchya!’ he thought. Bill kept up the academic tone, answered the questions and nothing more. The Prosecutor had to prompt him a few times as he asked presumptive questions. Bill would patronisingly ask, “Could you complete the question please, Sir?” He often caught the judge smirking to herself.”

The rest of Harrys witnesses weren’t as eloquent as Bill but very credible nonetheless. Harry’s lawyer, Bill felt, had well & truly established ‘reasonable doubt.’ In reality this was a cakewalk for Harrys lawyer as the complainants claims simply didn’t happen. Court was just a formality…..but the wait was extremely stressful for everyone except Bill. Bill was now sure from word on the street about the complainant and reports from her neighours that she had been before the judge before chasing Victims Of Crime money and the judge was sick of her. This would explain the judge flicking aside flippantly documents from the folder.

The complainants witnesses looked to be in similar shape with one of them even  changing their statement half way through. They were scruffily dressed, high and kites and fidgety. The complainant sat erect, looking around the courtroom with her nose in the air with an air of narcissistic arrogance and confidence. Obviously high.

Herr bubble  began to burst when the first witness inadvertantly changed his half way through. He was arrested for perverting the course of justice. The next witness was so high that he couldn’t speak. The judge ordered he be arrested, searched for drugs and drug tested. Thee rest of her witness promptly got up and left the court, leaving her high and dry. The Prosecution had nothing to run with now; not that they had anything to run with before.

The judge asked Harry to stand. It was showtime. Harry & hiss family were nervous but Bill wasn’t. Harrys original conviction was overturned along with the conviction. For the second complaint he was found not guilty, given no fine and no conviction was reccorded.

Sometimes the law works. It just takes so long.

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