Although my bit was done now, I had to wait for the rest. My sister’s, my mum, my friends, they were all giving evidence. I was desperate to know what was happening. But I couldn’t. As I had given evidence from behind a screen, I could not sit in the public gallery. Each day I would get a telephone call from the police, just telling me what had happened, for example “another victim gave evidence followed by her witnesses”. No details. I couldn’t have those. My fear all along had been about a hung jury. I had seen cases on the news where the jury couldn’t decide. I was terrified it would happen to me.
My family were confident. It’s a really strong case. The detective would tell me, it’s going really well.
I had done as much as I could. What ever happened next, he had been dragged into court, and all of those in court MUST know what he is. He had to listen to us recounting what he did to us. Telling HIS secret. Something he didn’t EVER want us to do. Whatever happened, I had tried. He hadn’t silenced me. He was being called to account for what he had done.
He gave evidence. I didn’t want to know what his lies were. A friend of my sister sat in court and listened. He was sweaty and unconvincing, she said. That was enough for me.
I had always said I didn’t want a screen up in court, I wanted to see his face, to see what the Bogey man looked like now. To see he was a sad old man. For him to see it was me that had put him in the dock. I’m not going to lie, I was terrified. That week in July was surreal. So much waiting around as things got moved around and pushed back. I gave evidence on the Friday. I walked into the court room it was like a set of a film. My hands shook as I read the oath. And then I faced his defence barrister.
Despite being so scared beforehand my overwhelming feeling whilst being cross examined was irritation. Knowing that the questioning related to the BS he was spinning as his defence made me seethe. She twisted my words and relentlessly asked the same questions over and over. The oh so reasonable explanations for everything she presented. The relentless ridiculous questioning about whether he had bought me flowers as a child. I had a glorious “mic drop” moment where she told me I had never mentioned carnations and I was able to point out that in one of my signed statements I had mentioned Pinks, which are a type of carnation. My friend who was with me throughout wondered if the defence counsel was attempting some kind of OJ Simpson moment with the “carnation defence”.
I was scared to look at him but I made myself look. There he was, a sweaty, older version of the man I remembered. Would I have recognised him if I had passed him on the street? Possibly not.
I was cross examined for 45 mins. It flew by. I came out of the court and was high as a kite, I was invincible, I could take on the world. I went and bought a lottery ticket. I felt like a winner.