Friday, 4 April 2014

Eleanor kills herself

It was Friday and I had just gone to Southwark Crown Court to have a look round in preparation for the Monday, that's when the trial was due to start.

I was very nervous. This trial was going to last a week and I was the main witness. Eleanor's legal team were gong to put me under very intense cross examination.

Whilst in the court I went to the exact court room where the trial was to take place, I met the usher and introduced myself. I stood in the witness box and imagined myself giving evidence whilst I stared across at the empty jury seats.

It was a fine spring day and so I walked back to my office along the River Thames. I went back to my office and tried to relax as much as I could. Finally, I was going to have my trial. Finally after 1 year and 4 months of waiting we are finally there.

It had been a long 16 months. From having been arrested to collecting the CCTV and text message evidence, getting witness statements and building up a case. The case had been approved by the courts, it had been approved by the CPS.

In one week Eleanor de Freitas would be found guilty and my name would be cleared once and for all. She would probably go to prison for 12 months and then we'd all get on with our lives.

At 434pm my lawyer sent me an email asking: "Is there any chance you could pop by and see me at half six? Would like to have a quick chat pre-Monday & would like to have it in person. Is that ok?"

At six o'clock I headed to see my lawyer. None else was there it was just me and her. She met me in the lobby and we headed up in this very small lift into her office.  I was telling her about my visit to the court and asking a few questions about the trial. I was excited that we had made it this far, we had spent 16 months working on this case and finally we were days away from trial.

She brought me into her little office and said "Alexander, I don't think you've been in here have you?" and she left the room briefly to bring a chair opposite her desk. 

She closed the door and said "Alexander I've got some news about the case I need to tell you about". Nothing could prepare me for what she was about to say.

And very slowly, she says the words: "Ellie has... killed herself".

I could not believe what I was hearing. It took several seconds for it to sink in, but even then I still could not believe it.

"Oh my god", I kept saying. "Oh my god, I can't believe it".

It's a very strange thing to have your nemesis die. For the last 16 months she had been the focus of my attention, in terms of building up the case. And now he was dead. This person that tried to destroy my life had now died.

There were all sorts of mixed emotions going on there. It felt truly weird to actually feel sorry for the person who tried to ruin my life by making false accusations against me, but I did. Of course I did.

I was in shock. It seemed all so tragic. Going on a date with someone and then all of this mess and then they commit suicide. It just seems so weird, so awful how this all ended.

All she needed to do was to say sorry and admit that she lied but it was too much for her. I think she knew that she would be going to prison and was afraid of that. But I was very sad, very shocked. Noone wanted her to die, I just wanted to clear my name and for her to learn her lesson. She would have spent no more than a year behind bars and that would have been it. Life back to normal.

Most of all I felt for her parents. They were innocent bystanders as far as I was concerned. I did not have any issues with them. All I could think about was her parents. She was their only child. I was thinking about them right now, I wonder what they are feeling, what they are doing?

Then my lawyer said to me. "Look, you don't know this and you weren't meant to find out until after trial but Elie had done this before, you were the second person she had falsely accused of rape. There was another guy she false accused before you".


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