Only one thing was going through the judge’s mind, what technicality could he exploit? His eyes wandered over to the jury, all listening intently to every single word the barrister was saying. Then he looked towards the dock at the defendant, sitting there in his pristine business suit.
A gentleman in his late fifties with grey hair and a receding hairline, puffy cheeks that lead down to a flabby double chin. If there was ever a picture of the proverbial fat cat then this was it. A man that had more money than he knew what to do with all made from the sweat of the little people, little people like the hotel maid that sat in the seat next to the prosecution barrister.
She was dressed in a dull dress that did nothing for her features and looked as if she would fit right in at the pew of a church listening to the Sunday sermon. The judge knew that she had probably been coached by council to dress in a certain way to attract more sympathy for her cause from the jury.
There was no doubt in Judge Hastings mind that the defendant was guilty looking at the evidence he had in front of him and that the maid was probably a very nice person, but her attire was just an added, unspoken technique that the prosecution wanted to exploit. These were the tiny little games that barristers liked to play in their twisted little world winning at all costs.
It did not matter which side the barrister was on, they all had the same underhand intentions. The courtroom was just a battlefield and it was win at all costs. The prosecution finished their opening statement which lasted a gruelling five minutes.
Not only did they recount the charge against the banker but they summarised, in bullet-point format, a step-by-step account of his actions. At this stage there was nothing the judge could do but sit there and listen. Then came the opposing version of the facts from the defence.
This statement took way longer and by now it was nearing lunch which lead the judge to make the decision to adjourn the case for one hour. The judge could hardly eat anything in that hour for lunch. His stomach kept churning as he constantly stared at the door to his chambers waiting for it to open and Mr. Reinhart to walk in.
Nothing happened and he returned to the courtroom to begin hearing the evidence proposed by the prosecution for the jury. Witness after witness was called giving testimony on the night in question and then came the main witness, the maid herself.
This was an odd tactic by prosecution, the judge thought, as normally the main witness would be the first person called to take the stand, but not today. Today she was the last person called and the only reason for that was that the emotional distress and trauma that had been inflicted on her would be the last thing the jury would see and hear.
That image would stick in the mind of each jury member as they would be listening to whatever the defence said. All throughout the prosecutions case the judge made every effort, based on legal precedents, as to which evidence was allowed to be presented to the jury.
This did not go down well and was met with strong objections from the prosecuting barrister but the judge did not care, his job today was not to serve justice. He had a job to do and he would do it.
The next day saw the defence council present their case. The judge sat there in his chair that was positioned higher than everyone else in the courtroom and listened to the mass of testimony. No matter what was being said, he allowed all of it to be included, no matter how much the prosecution objected and they objected a lot. Even the character assassination of the maid was allowed.
The defence brought in to question her previous sexual encounters in an attempt to portray her as a sexual deviant and even made suggestions that she instigated the whole thing and was now trying to claim abuse. The defence even went as far as to fabricate evidence. Nothing was off limits according to the judge, he allowed all of it.
The jury heard everything whether it was fact or not. All the while the judge sat there presiding over this mockery of a trial looking at Mr. Reinhart. All his efforts to try and dismiss the case in the prosecutions account were useless. There was nothing he could find to throw this case out and now he was down to his last resort.
Things were not looking good for Judge Hastings and he knew it but he still had not given up. His last ditch attempt at swaying the jury was in full flow and then he had to summarise and instruct the jury on what they HAD to consider and nothing else, in deciding the outcome of this case.
Finally the defence ended their argument and the judge gave his instructions which were a cleverly veiled set of rules that, to the untrained ear, would not pick up on the intent he had behind his words. Off the jury went to make their deliberations and after two long hours they returned with their verdict.
The foreman stood up and announced to the court that the defendant was found guilty. The judge kept a poker face as the verdict was made but inside his mind alarm bells were going off so loudly. It was panic stations.
As soon as the word guilty was heard the judge looked directly at Mr. Reinhart, who had been sat in the same spot throughout the whole trial, and saw him doing something on his phone. There was no time to delay and speedily the judge went back to his chambers. He opened the door to the sound of his mobile phone ringing on his table.
He rushed over to it and just as he was about to pick it up he saw the name on the screen.
He rushed over to it and just as he was about to pick it up he saw the name on the screen. Madeline!