Another court session this morning. Domestic violence seems to be the flavour of the month amongst the local lowlife intelligentsia. The process runs similarly in most cases. There is drink involved, usually on both sides. An argument ensues. The male uses his superior physical strength to win the argument leaving the woman with visible reminders of her mistake in challenging him. Most scenes are replays of the daily trauma teachings of Emmernation Enders where few relationships are seen to run smoothly without the man flexing his intellectual muscles.
The next act in this kitchen sink drama is for the woman to enlist the help of the police who turn up to find themselves in the middle of an unintelligible domestic battle. They are forced to accept the woman’s evidence, backed up by bruises and tears, and arrest the man, drag his drunken body into a cell and allow him to sleep it off. By the morning – because these things only seem to happen in the dark – he is bundled into a Magistrates Court and three tired middle class, middle aged suits decide whether or not he is safe to be let out into the world. If he hasn’t been able to scare up a mate who can accommodate him then we will remand him until he can stand trial. Oh, I forgot, it’s a trial because he is denying that anything happened or claiming that he used his sixteen stone muscle and bone in self defence against a ten stone drunk and drug-confused woman who attacked him without reason (look! See that faint scratch on his pectorals).
At the pre-trial review we are told that the complainant is attempting to withdraw the allegation but the Crown Prosecution Service thinks they have a good chance of conviction so they send her a witness summons to attend. We decide he can be bailed to a distant location with conditions not to contact the complainant or go near the home address. A week later we have him in again for breaching these conditions because ever since he was bailed she has been texting him incessantly and he was stupid enough to respond.
Come the day of the trial and the complainant, the prosecution’s chief and only witness, has not turned up and cannot be found. The CPS has a stark choice, abandon the prosecution or issue a warrant for her arrest and adjourn the trial in the hope she can be persuaded to testify against him. They usually take the pragmatic approach and cut their losses. He walks out of court with a smirk on his face and heads for the nearest bar to prepare himself for his next argument with her.
Life goes on.