May 12th 2017.
On 12th May I set off for the Police Station to be charged. I’m currently staying in a B&B, well it’s actually an air bNb as at the moment my brother needs some space at his house as does my sister so I can’t stay with either of them at the moment. So I’m booked into an air bNb for about 9 days as I have no other places to stay.
I get all my paperwork ready, bail conditions, bail sheets and arrest sheets just in case I need them. I drive up the police center on the outskirts of town and park up and buzz myself in. “Hi, I’m here to be charged today” and I give my name. I don’t think I’m quite with reality yet as the realism is that after today I will be a charged criminal, a possible sex offender. I will serve a life sentence with this alongside my current life sentence of being abused.
The other voice in my head is telling myself “but you are still you, you’re a great guy, people love you, you’re an amazing dad, feel some pride with the positives rather than the negatives”. My issue is the negative list is getting bigger and bigger and catching up with the positives.
The arresting officer for the case isn’t here today. I’m very disappointed by that as I wanted to speak with her. I emailed the officer after my interview at the end of March and just thanked her for speaking to me with “compassion and dignity” as I thought she cared about me. But there was no caring really, she had everything she needed from me to make a charge and that was all that was about. More fool me really. Someone in authority who cared what I’d been through?! Don’t be so stupid.
I just would have thought that having “nailed me” so to speak, she would have wanted to have charged me? Maybe she thinks I’m scum and can’t look me in the eye? Perhaps she does have some compassion and so can’t look me in the eye from that point? I’m rambling a bit.
Rather ironically I know the custody sergeant on today. He’s all smiles and very nice, crazy really given the situtation ahead of me. He reads the charges to me, asks if I can read and then turns around his computer monitor so that I can read them on the screen.
On or before 26/10/2016 Made an Indecent Photograph, namely 1 level B Movie, of a child. Recovered from Exhibit XXX
On or before 26/10/2016 Made an Indecent Photograph, namely 4 Level A Movies, of a child. Recovered fromExhibit XXX
“Do you understand the charges put to you?” the custody sergeant asks me.
“Without meaning to sound ignorant. I don’t understand the charges at all. Can I ask how you read them yourself please?” I respond.
The custody sergeant turns the screen back towards himself, reads back the charges quietly and then looks up at me. “Well I read those as that you’ve taken indecent movies of children. Is that not what’s happened?”
“No” I respond. “That’s not what’s happened at all”.
The officer assisting the custody sergeant reads through the charges also. “Let me go and get hold of the investigating officer and they can clarify the charges”. She leaves the room.
“You’re perfectly entitled to question these, if they aren’t right mate we will change them” The custody officer informs me.
The assisting officer returns. “The charges stand, they are because you admitted in your first interview on tape to having viewed a Cat A Film in the past”. She stares at me making me feel very guilty.
And you know what, she’s right. I did tell the police in my first interview that I had once seen a Cat A movie and so I accept the charges.
It’s the first time in this whole process that I begin to understand it’s not really the absolute truth that matters, it’s the interperation of the truth that matters. The authorities have no interest that the file was inadvertandly downloaded, the only fact they need is that it was downloaded and I confessed to viewing a small part of it.
Job done for them, another criminal in the system, another sex offender down, another statistic for the home office. Justice at any cost.