Saturday, 14 April 2007

An everyday story of country folk

Last week SC and I were told a tale which left us open-mouthed and angry.

I remain incensed now so if you're sitting comfortably.....let me recount, as best I can, a tale of everyday Yorkshire country folk. And who can be more countrified and folkier than farming folk.

IS has a close and loyal friend, R, who is also 9, whose parents, D and J, have a farm 5 miles away. One evening last summer, D and J decided to venture far from their local pub and visit Great Bickering for a round of drinks at one of our fine hostelries.

After their drink they set off at a leisurely pace in their pick-up truck.....and they noticed a quartet of (drunken?) youths causing a commotion in the street by kicking cars as they stopped at lights. As D pulled up at the traffic lights, the lead youth came over and starting kicking D's pick-up. D is not a big man at all but he got out to remonstrate with the 6 ft youth whilst J, terrified, locked herself in the pick-up. The youth then punched and kicked D, who, in self-defence, grabbed a piece of timber from his pick-up and hit the youth twice over the shoulder and arm. The second youth then brandished a knife at D who bravely warned him off. Naturally shaken, D promptly got back in his truck and drove off home.

The next day, D and J were BOTH arrested and locked up for several hours. The police drove home a charge of assault on D, and a couple of very anxious months later, D appeared in court. In response to his solicitor's promptings, scared that he would be jailed and to expedite the entire sorry incident, D, in his naievety, pleaded guilty and he was fined over £2000. D and J had to fork out a further £6000 in fees etc. As a result, D now has a criminal record. D has now lost his shotgun and his licence, both crucial to a farmer. D and J can no longer foster children as they have for the past 5 years. And all this happened to a man who, we were told, had never incurred a parking ticket.

Some salient facts also came out. The lead youth, BJ, had had several brushes with the law in his 18 years. BJ was ‘asked to leave’ GB’s only Wine Bar prior to the assault and this was recorded on CCTV - yes, even Great Bickering has an array of technofangled equipment. The CCTV recording was suppressed by the police. The youth with the knife has since being arrested and is on bail. BJ was allegedly so drunk that day that he was unable to make any statement at all.

The irony is that D later heard that his solicitor and the presiding judge later went to a funeral and the judge expressed his surprise that D had pleaded guilty! Too right!

So ashamed and shocked were D and J that they did not tell us until now, for several months. Now, whilst we shouldn't get too sympathetic for the plight of D and J, let us not forget the poor drunken 'victim' who apparently now has a burgeoning career serving Her Majesty in Iraq (I’m sure other squaddies can deal with BJ but pity the poor Iraqis).

Oh, and one further fact – would this case have ANYTHING to do with the fact that BJ’s darling daddy has a very prominent position in the local police force.


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