A Jury of His Own

He's summing up now. Useless lawyer really, but it's not like I can afford anyone better. Can't even be bothered to listen to the man, which doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. Eleven days this trial's been carrying on, and I don't understand why. It's not like there's any debate. He's dead. He fell on his knife. The only question is, did I want it to happen, or not? Truth be told, I couldn't care less about him. After what he did, I can't honestly say I'm sorry, and I don't think the world will miss him too much.

Oh, I'll just let him carry on. He's obviously enjoying himself. I'll never get over how much this court really does look like something off the telly. I wonder if they film in a real courtroom. Might have to find out one day. There's a Judge sitting at the front of the room, looking down on everybody, wearing one of those stupid woollen wigs. Why do they wear those things? Is it just to demoralise you? You know, 'I may be the stupidest looking person here but I have the power to send you to jail'. I think that might be it.

Then we've got some glorified secretary sitting beneath him, scribbling away little notes, trying to make himself look important. Don't know why he's here these days, you could probably have some computer sitting there, listening to what's going on, doing his job. There's already too many working-class jobs getting lost to computers. Maybe if it started happening somewhere like a courtroom, someone would start doing something about it.

In front of all them there's a bench for the lawyers. I hate lawyers, just making a load of money out of someone else's misfortune. There's my lawyer, the pasty-faced twat who's still droning on at the jury. I swear he must be on a work-experience placement from law school. He can't be old enough to have graduated. I can't believe my freedom is in the hands of a man who looks like he escaped from college and felt like doing this for a laugh. He's wearing a suit, but he reminds me of a teenager forced into his Sunday best for a funeral. He's not comfortable, he doesn't look right, and it's painfully obvious to anyone who cares to look.

On the other side of the room is the Jurors box. For some reason, they seem to be interested in this guy waffling on. Can't think why. If it was me up there, I'd have already made my mind up and be thinking about going home for a cup of tea. Anyway, I thought the jury was meant to make up 'a realistic cross-section of the defendant's peers'? If that yob there, with the skinhead haircut and the ring through his nose, if he's a realistic depiction of this nation's people, then I think I'll ask to be incarcerated abroad!

I like the look of that one there, though. The young girl with her blonde hair trimmed into a nice bob, and wearing a sensible suit. She looks like she's a nice enough girl, but she'd probably be too nice to argue against the others for long. I mean, she can't be much more than twenty. That's only a few years older than my Lisa. But I think she'll understand what I did, and why. So at least there's someone there who might have some idea of what I'm going through.

Trouble is, she's only one girl. I can't imagine any of the others being sympathetic. Most of them look like business-class wankers who are pissed off at me for daring to interrupt their careers. That woman next to the yob looks like a stone-faced old cow, and I can't imagine her thinking about this for long. She'll hear what the others say, agree with the majority, and try to be back in the office in time for the afternoon meeting.

Behind the lawyer's bench is a load of seats for the audience. I wonder why most of them come here. Do some just come here out of curiosity, to watch someone suffer? But at least it means that Jenny and Lisa can be here. I did it for them, so it just wouldn't make sense if they couldn't be here to see it. They gave their evidence days ago, but they've been coming in here, everyday. Watching the proceedings, trying to show their support.

Well, it's show time... They're taking the jury away, the judge is leaving, and a couple of police goons have arrived to frogmarch me into a cell. It's only just after two, so maybe I'll get a judgement tonight. I don't imagine it will take very long. I wander down the corridor to the courtroom cells, flanked by two policemen who look like they would have been more at home on a rugby pitch. Not much point trying to be difficult, they'd probably just run down the corridor and tackle me if I tried to run.

I get into the cell without argument, and they piss off to go get a drink. Or maybe to try out for the local Union team. I can't stand sitting here alone, and my lawyer doesn't bother to come and visit. Probably shouldn't have called him a useless tosser last time he visited. I wonder what the jury are doing right now? I can just imagine stone-face and yobbo sitting at one end of the table, bullying that nice girl into giving a guilty verdict.

I bet they wouldn't feel the same if they were in my position. How would all those business drones feel if that bunch of kids had broken into their home? They wouldn't have handled it very well, I'll bet! Probably would have sat in the corner, cowering in fear, trying not to get noticed. Fair enough, that's what I did for most of the robbery. Six foot three of me, against those three little maggots, and I sit there, scared just because one of them's got a bloody knife.

I just sat there, timid as a little mouse, while they grabbed all the valuables in the house. Jenny's jewellery, my tools, the CD player, anything they could get their hands on. Couldn't manage to get the TV out of the house, so they just smashed the screen in with the fire-poker, trying to scare Jenny and Lisa. They couldn't have done this before; they were far too unprepared. They were always going to get caught, but they were pissed, and they had a knife, so they decided to see what they could get away with.

So one of the little bastards dragged my daughter away from the rest of us. And he started touching her. She's only fifteen, for God's sake, and he started groping her, just to get some kicks out of her. She couldn't do anything to stop her, not with his knife at her throat. His dirty little mates started cheering him on, and one of the bastards asked when he got a turn!

I couldn't just sit there and let them do that to her. Poor Lisa, in there with them, screaming her heart out for help... It wasn't something a father could bear. So I went in there, punched one of them in the face, and tackled the one with the knife. It was a tackle even those guards would have been proud of. We started rolling around on the floor fighting, and before I know it, I'm on top of him, and he's underneath me, dead. With his own knife in his back.

That's how the police found us. His mates said I was trying to kill him, said I was threatening him as I knocked him down. Might have been true, I don't even know what I was shouting. Jenny and Lisa told their side of the story, about how they were in fear of their lives and how he fell on his blade in the fight. But then those kids gave their evidence. They came into court, acting like poor little drunken kids, who didn't know what they were doing, and didn't deserve to die for it. Then there's me. A recluse with a previous conviction for affray and a snot-nosed little twat for a lawyer. I think I would have convicted me.

Oh dear, here's Lomu and Carling, must be time for me to get back into court. Another short, pleasant walk along the corridors later, and it's the old routine again. All rise, be seated, yes m'lud. Now they're bringing back the motley crew, and he's asking if they're ready to give their verdict on me. But I'm still not listening. It doesn't matter. They don't matter. I know I'm not a murderer. I may have broken the law, but I know I'm not a criminal. In my mind, I'm a good father, and a good man. And that is enough.

Well, what can I put here? This is an Original, so there's no need for a Disclaimer. Kind of a blank space, isn't it? Ah well, I hope you all enjoyed the story!