Date: 22nd December 2020
The latest blog from SFSA writer Donald Stewart:
The judge, the jury, even his lawyer is hanging on his every word…
Picture the scene…
It is a high-profile trial.
Resplendent in a wig that he found in a dress up cupboard under the stairs, Judge Doncaster of Piffle Row is presiding. But it is not he who has everyone on the edge of their seats.
Defending him, one Mr. Fitzpatrick of the firm, Buddy, Buddies and Best Buds, is looking askance at the witness box, unable to believe his ears. But it is not he who has the whole courtroom in his grasp.
In the witness box stands, Mr. Goodwin. He is stood standing, still with the expression of the innocent upon his face. It appears a very practiced and well-rehearsed stance.
Mr. Fitzpatrick decides to repeat the question, just in case Mr. Goodwin has not heard… properly…
“Mr. Goodwin,” he begins. “Can we just be clear, on the day in question, you have no recollection over your discussion with the man at the line?”
Mr. Goodwin does not miss a beat. “That is correct.”
“Is it possible, Mr. Goodwin, that the exchange between yourselves was perfectly cordial?” continues Mr. Fitzpatrick.
Mr. Goodwin smiles, like a character from Assassin’s Creed. “Yeah, it could have been.”
Mr. Fitzpatrick looks at his notes, decides not to produce the video evidence as it shows Mr. Goodwin clearly being over exuberant and hopes that his opposite number, prosecuting and friend of the Judge, Mr. Broadknuckles does not either. The Chuckle brother’s forgotten brother seems strangely preoccupied with something and looking across, Mr. Fitzpatrick can see that Mr. Broadknuckles is on his phone.
Mr. Fitzpatrick decides to try and catch Mr. Broadknuckles of the legal firm, Bluster, Bull and Baloney, out. He turns to the judge and says, “I have no further questions at this time, but may have further questions following my learned friend’s cross examination.”
Judge Doncaster looks across at Mr. Broadknuckles. Mr Broadknuckles is flummoxed. He clearly was not paying attention.
He stands and tries to find his notes. There are folders being spilled onto the floor around him as he straightens up and tries to look scary at Mr. Goodwin. It has been a very long time since anyone scared Mr. Goodwin.
“Mr. Goodwin,” he begins. “Can I take you back to the night in question. You were standing next to the man we have identified as the fourth man. You had a chat. What was said?”
Mr. Goodwin, along with everyone else in the room appears confused as he has already answered this. “I cannot remember,” he responds.
“I see,” continues Mr. Broadknuckles. “And when the man we have identified as the man in black approached you, what was said?”
Mr. Goodwin once again along with everyone else in the room appears confused as he has already answered this. “I cannot remember,” he responds.
“I see,” continues Mr. Broadknuckles. “And when the man we have identified as Conor McCarthy did what he did, what did you do?”
Mr. Goodwin for the third time, along with everyone else in the room appears confused as he has already answered this. “I cannot remember,” he responds.
The afternoon stretches out at Mr. Broadknuckles asks about Mr. Goodwin’s weekend, his last game as a player and the Second World War. In tolerably good humour at each question, Mr. Goodwin responds, “I can’t remember.”
At the end of the afternoon, Mr. Broadknuckles, having done what he thought as a deeply forensic cross examination turns to the Judge, and says, “The prosecution rests M’lud.”
The air of confusion does not lift as Judge Doncaster of Piffle Row turns to the accused and reluctantly says, “Mr. Goodwin, you are free to go.”
The jury look on, confused.
They thought it was their job to declare someone innocent or guilty!
As eleven good people and true dragged from the terraces, once again their input has been ignored and the direction of travel more piffle.
Mr. Goodwin smiles as he leaves, realising that his amnesia is beginning to lift…
Whilst the author asserts his right to this as an original tale, there is no evidence that a certain Mr. Doncaster has ever been in a dressing up cupboard under any stairs, this is therefore not true, though a certain Mr. Goodwin did appear during the week to have amnesia.
During the week when asked why he had been sent to the stand after St. Mirren had scored to knock Rangers out of the Cup, manager Jim Goodwin responded, “I couldn’t even explain what I’d done because I can’t remember – it was just sheer elation and emotion.”
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