Smashwords Book Description:
Susan Berry sits up in the public gallery in Leeds Crown Court and watches the trial of the man who savagely raped her daughter. As Natalie gives evidence under oath, another set of eyes are watching her. Watching he closely, taking in every single detail. He is a man with a criminal record for that very same offence, a man who had served prison time for it. But this man is not just your run-of-the-mill rape case ghoul – those who attend such cases for their own sordid thrills.
This man is on the jury. It is his commitment to judge whether the rapist or the victim is telling the truth.
As Susan watches this man watching her daughter, she realises his interest is more than strictly judicial. That he cannot be replied upon to ‘do the right thing.’ She is desperate to see Natalie’s rapist convicted. And when she makes contact with that man outside the courtroom, she strikes a terrible deal.
But just how far will she go to get justice?
Extract: The Fall of a Desperate Mummy
It has just happened again; that ‘I have to fuck her’ moment. The moment when I am somewhere and I never know exactly where or when, but something in my head makes me look at somebody and think ‘It’s You.’
Today it took me by surprise. It is only five weeks since the last one. This one has been sitting up there in the public gallery every day of the trial so far. She is the only women up there. I think she is the victim’s mother. I do hope so.
She is looking especially nervous today. So she should be if she is the mother, her little darling is on the stand today and she is going to get a fucking rough ride. Maybe that’s what brought my moment on…the prospect of watching the mother seeing the daughter put through the mincer. Enough to make any man hard.
She keeps looking down at me, probably wondering what I’m thinking. If only she knew. I was surprised to find myself on a jury in a case like this, especially with my past record. Still I’m not complaining, it has all been very entertaining, and should be a good show today once the little tramp takes the stand.
She is looking at me now; there is no more appealing expression on a woman’s face than anxiety. Well apart from fear. I can see she is uneasy. Well she will be a lot more uneasy when this day is through.
I have a plan. Once I have had the ‘I have to fuck her’ moment, a plan always springs to mind. She looks too good to miss really, and vulnerability always entices …I will find a way.
A man like me always does.
Susan Berry watched from the packed public gallery in Leeds Crown Court as her eighteen year-old daughter Natalie gave evidence against the man who seven months before had viciously raped and beaten her. Every eye in the courtroom was fixed on her as the female prosecutor took her steadily and gently through her evidence.
Despite the obvious sympathy shown the questions were detailed and intimate. Natalie had been taken through them in preparation, but Susan could see she was starting to wilt a little; starting to hesitate and falter in her answers. Starting to fracture; starting to splinter. She glanced down at the bully-boy defence barrister ostentatiously awaiting his turn; glancing through his notes, scribbling a couple of words here and there. He was making a great show of being unconcerned and repeatedly glancing at his watch to emphasis the time taken by the prosecution.
Susan thought that his performance was pure theatre, designed to unsettle and to threaten. Everyone knew George Land Q.C by repute; a heavyweight in every sense with the reputation of a bruising streetfighter on behalf of his somewhat dubious array of clients. Defence of rapists his ‘obnoxious speciality’, the prosecutor had told her before the trial started. In truth Susan feared what was to come. She feared it because it might hurt her daughter all over again, and also because if Natalie did break down, it could mean her assailant might go free.
The prosecution team had warned both mother and daughter to expect a stormy and belligerent cross-examination. The best form of defence, given the circumstances would be attack. What was true or false wouldn’t matter, only what could be smeared, undermined, insinuated. It was all down to the issue of consent, her word against his; the hardest of all rapes to prove. The easiest to discredit.
Even though Susan knew what was coming she was helpless. All she could do was sit and watch and hope. She was lost in her thoughts, lost in the sorry memory of that night when she abruptly realised that the moment she had dreaded had arrived. The prosecutor had primly taken her seat and an expectant hush settled upon the courtroom.
The man sitting next to her whispered to the man on his right hand side. ‘Showtime.’