Wednesday, 4 January 2012
Mad as a Box of Frogs
Now when I say everything, I suppose that technically isn't quite right, because crime doesn't stop. As I found to my dismay when I receiving a call from a distraught duty solicitor at 8 am on Boxing Day morning.
He clearly wasn't relishing the thought of dealing with a client of mine at the local Christmas remand court as he was struggling to get any instructions from her and deemed her "as mad as a box of frogs"
I should have read the warning signs, as he sounded so relieved when I foolishly said I'd turn out. I (also foolishly) thought that she might respond better to someone she knows and trusts and I'd acted for her in care proceedings earlier in the year. The circumstances of which are quite unique as when approaching the age of 50 she was being treated by the local medical services for a number of complaints, the cause of which they couldn't quite identify, until one evening she went to the loo thinking she was constipated and produced a healthy baby!
Unsurprisingly this trauma resulted in her suffering a psychotic break. I knew I was in for a long day when I read the synopsis of my girl's interview under caution in the police summary of the "domestic" which led to her incarceration.
It had all started so well with a simple admission which then fatally degenerated into uncontrollable shouting and throwing coffee around the interview room, quickly followed by the coffee cup. This performance had resulted in the compassionate Durham constabulary charging her with an assault and an appearance in front of Newton Aycliffe remand court.
Steeling myself I made my way to the cells and spent a rather unproductive 2 and a half hours trying to make sense of how and why my client arrived here. You know someone hasn't quite grasped the severity of their situation when they are obsessing about the sandwich wrapper their lunch arrived in as opposed to trying to provide you with an alternative address they can be bailed to. The one piece of information I did glean was that she had an emergency appointment with a psychiatrist at 3pm in a local hospital.
Now I'm a great believer in the maxim "when you're in a hole stop digging" so perhaps screaming "what sort of f**king kangaroo court is this" whilst struggling with the security guards wasn't quite the right comment to make at this point.
Not a particularly impressive debut in the magistrates court, as security were ordered to take her down, leaving me to make the point to the magistrates in my most sincere and caring voice that she was obviously not a well woman and I firmly believed she should not be in the criminal justice system but should be in the care of the mental health services. I mentioned the appointment with the crisis team and offered to drop her off there on my way home from court.
Anyway it worked! it was apparent to everyone that my girl's behaviour was far from normal and having garnered some sympathy for her explaining about the care proceedings and the traumatic effect this had had upon her (possibly the only vestiges of goodwill seen in that particular court room that day,) they adjourned the case and granted unconditional bail on the basis that I would take her to hospital.
Having bailed her out, the fun and games didn't stop there, in her bag of belongings (rather smelly bag of belongings) she had the princely sum of £5.02 and insisted I stopped for cigarettes at a petrol station on the way to hospital. I obligingly did so but realised the mistake as she muttered something about buying a teddy bear and was in the shop for an inordinate amount of time, as customer after customer filled up but no one emerged from the shop.
I sat there thinking what an idiot I was for even stopping never mind allowing her to go into the shop, I got out the car to see if I could help just as she came out muttering about how rude the assistant had been. My surreal day ended when I finally deposited her and her bag of belongings in the cavernous and deserted reception area of Lanchester Road Hospital.
(Note from Binge just in case you're interested in how this all turned out see here)
A bit of a different Boxing Day for me then and I was toying with whether or not this would justify my having another day off in lieu, but somehow it doesn't work like that when you are self employed, so I returned to work and swimming today. My first swim of the year produced 1% of my total for the year in a fairly steady session which almost looks like it could have some thought behind it.
800 free drill every 4th length @ 13.30
700 continuous 4 x 25 medleys (drill fly) @ 13 mins
600 free kick every 6th length @ 11.45
500 as 75 back, 50 breast @ 10 mins
400 pull @ 7.30
300 medley change over
200 free breathing every 6th stroke
4 x 25 @ 35s
13 x 100's pull with paddles @ 1.50 swam these comfortably on 1.30's
6 x 100 kick with fins @ 2.15
300 swim down