Parole Hearing

Visiting John, I corrected the misspelling of pedalling in the prison paper.

John had received my note with my email address on it. His barrister wanted me to be at his parole hearing Wednesday because of an undisclosed statement to the board from his probation officer supposedly by me though I hadn’t signed anything and I’d’ve been hard put myself to make one of my meeting with both his probation oficer and my victims liaison officer never mind their making one for me. This was late Saturday day afternoon. John wanted me to phone his solicitor in Newcastle. He gave me the name of the person to ask for on his case. I don’t have a phone and am bad on it. His phone was among his possessions being kept for him. He was presuming I had the phone no on an advert he’d enclosed I’d used to leave a message indirectly for his solicitor but that, he instructed me, was of no use for this. Once I’d put the phone down twice, I should get through the third time, as his mother had, to ask for his barrister’s email address and email him about attending on the coming Wednesday. He gave me either the solicitors’ name or the barrister’s. None of this could be other than word of mouth. “I have to stay in all day for Mears Monday!” I protested, for an appointment to have my kitchen and bathroom done. Tuesday then. “My life is in your hands, again.” “Oops,” I was being ironic.

I looked through his letters for the necessary information and found only the name I was to ask for. I’d got rid of the difficult-to-use advert. There was no phone no. I wrote him a letter saying this was ridiculous. He was always urging something be done for him at the last minute and without adequate information. I said if his barrister wanted me at the hearing, he should email me time and place instead of my having to go through this rigmarole. Since there was no collection Sunday, John’d get the letter if he was lucky Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday I visited the V&A to track down the big book on the Olympics done by Wandsworth prisoners John had three articles in. I found the book like a big cake under glass in the Sackler centre; but arrayed along the wall beside it were pages from it and at the end was John’s poem, ‘Sport Is…’ dedicated to me. Cool!

His parole hearing was a beneficial farce. Two witnesses hadn’t turned up. His probation officer hadn’t submitted the obligatory release form and sat in a corner chewing a wasp, John said. The undisclosed statement was that I was vulnerable. “I am.” The judge asked John if he’d prefer his next hearing to be by him or some other board. John wisely decided on the same panel. When asked how he felt, he replied, “Like you,” at which the judge sat up straight from his wearied slump. John will not have me at his next hearing in case I’m asked about his taking drugs since I always tell the truth. Lies drop effortlessly from John’s lips like dribbling honey.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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