Tuesday 8 January 2013

Meeting my criminal defence lawyers

The day after I was released I went to a shop and bought a new mobile phone and sim card and started to tell my friends and other family members what had happened. It was better that it came from me, than hearing things via the grapevine. I needed to tell them myself so I could set the record straight. They were shocked.

Worse was having to tell my work colleagues and people that knew me less well. I was stressed out and people needed to know what was going on. You could see it in my eyes, I could hardly concentrate on anything. Whenever anyone tried to engage me in conversation I would be lost in thought thinking about the rape allegations.

On the 8th January I met with my defence lawyers at Hodge Jones and Allen, who I had never met before. Until now I had just spoken to the lawyer who only attends police stations. I asked them how much it would cost to defend a typical rape case and they said up to £100,000 if it went to trial and that this process could take nine months. If found guilty I was looking at five years in prison.

I need to find evidence that could prove my innocence.

I didn't really have any evidence in my defence though. I was beyond stressed. I really thought that there was a very serious chance that I might get sent to prison, for something that I didn't do.

That evening, after leaving the lawyers, I spent several hours driving around between Kings Rd and High Street Kensington noting the various CCTV cameras and trying to remember the exact route that Eleanor and I drove on the 24th December. I also parked my car and walked around Kensington Town hall and High Street Kensington looking at the different cameras, and the different different angles, to see if one could have captured us.

I found some bank camera's on High Street Kensington that pointed to the pavement. I also walked around Kings Rd and Paultons Square, examining the area between my flat and Tesco and also the area around Paultons Square. By the time I got home it was the early hours of the morning.

My search for evidence was became an obsession. I needed to find evidence. Fast.

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