View from the back of the courtroom

One day blurs into another now. I had to ask a friend if it was Tuesday or Wednesday. The last couple of days have been strange as I am not allowed to talk to Cam while he is in the witness box. This means that I have to spend the breaks with our legal team while he sits with friends at another table. It also means that while we are back at the apartment we are only allowed to talk about non-court related topics. This includes our legal team who are not allowed to give him any advice about how he is reacting to questions from Mr Craig.

Colin Craig is representing himself in the Craig versus Slater High court case

When Mr Craig started his cross-examination of Cam he immediately tried to elicit an emotional response from him by bringing up myself and someone else close to him.  At the back of the courtroom, I wasn’t happy and got the shakes for a little while. I think it was my body protesting at my self-control as my mind was overriding my bodies desire to say or do something in response. By the next day, however, I had relaxed and was able to view the proceedings without wanting to say or do anything.

It is hard being the passive observer in this expensive little play. The stakes are huge. Others not personally involved find it fascinating. Many lawyers including legal students pop by to observe. It is a famous or unusual case (I am not sure which) and has attracted a lot of interest. Even the Barristers from Jordan William’s case have flown up from Wellington to observe. They are very impressed with our legal team and are enjoying the show.

The wall behind me in the court is carpeted with a pale blue carpet. Above each chair that is bolted to the floor in front of the wall are yellow stained circles left by years and years worth of people’s greasy heads. Outside the courtroom, there are chairs bolted to the floor and on the white wall behind every chair is a black greasy circular mark. I joke about catching court cooties and avoid leaning back to rest my head on the wall.

**Not actual stains on blue carpeted High court walls (but you get the idea.)

I have spoken to some of the people waiting outside various courtrooms. One person was in the body in the boot trial where the poor woman died. He mentioned that there were Triad gang members involved. Every day I am walking amongst alleged criminals like Triad gang members accused of hideous crimes. I am very thankful for the security at the entrance each day to ensure that no one can smuggle a weapon into the court.

We are getting to know everyone now. The male security guard with the upswept hairdo that is always fixed securely in place like surfer’s wave frozen in time. He never returns my smile. The female security guard who is friendly but professional and who firmly but gently told me off for taking a photo near the entrance on the first day. The amazing cafe staff who know all our orders off by heart. It has become our home away from home and we have our routines and our own special table and chairs that we always use each day.

Hopefully, today will be Cam’s final day in the witness-box as I am getting tired of trying to send him telepathic messages from the back of the courtroom.

 


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