I sat there for about 15 mins., it seemed longer. I was led to the witness box, the whole place looked very forbidding. I looked around and saw my Mum and Dad, then I raised my eyes to the sort of gallery there were loads of people mostly from work.
I was led into the box and sworn in. I looked over to my right and there was Jackie. I thought he would try and acknowledge me, even give me a sign of encouragement but no he turned away from me. I thought I was going to faint, my life was falling apart in front of me and I hadn`t even opened my mouth yet, god knows what was to come.
Once again I had to tell the sequence of events, when , where and why, I have never been so ashamed, I couldn`t take my eyes off Jackie I was so shocked by his reaction. I suppose from his point of view I was being vindictive. I wasn`t. I seemed to be on a rollercoaster and unable to get off, it seemed that everytime I opened my mouth I put my foot in it, this led to more questions.
At last I was able to step down a quivering wreck, I just wanted my Mum and Dad. The magistrate then said Jackie had pleaded not guilty, if he did in my presence I didn`t hear him. This meant the case would be referred to Sheffield Assizes. Jackie was remanded in custody as they thought there was a good chance he would go to Dublin.
Our solicitor explained the procedure to us ,we would eventually receive notification from the court of the date and the case would be held in front of a jury, that I would have to give evidence but this time I would be cross examined by Jackies lawyer. He said he would try and discredit me as his job was to get the jury to dismiss the charges against him. I was absolutely terrified , I knew I was telling the truth but I was out of my mind with worry, as I suppose was Jackie.
We all went home my Mum and Dad telling me it would all be o.k. my Dad said he regretted going to the police now, I said it was really my fault for reacting like I did, I didn`t give him any alternative.
Of course the newspapers had a field day, my Mum and Dad said it was better if I didn`t read them as most of it was out of context. I didn`t argue I had seen the billboards, it was a major scandal in our small town, it was also in the News of the World, these days it wouldn`t even be reported.
We had just eaten dinner, not me I had no appetite. there was a knock at the front door ,which was unusual as we never used the front door. My Mum answered it we could hear her talking the next thing she was showing three people in who we had never seen before. My Mum said this is Jackie`s wife and his brother and a friend, I almost fell off my chair in shock, why had she let them in, how awkward, my Dad said this wasn`t right or fair and if anything they should go through the solicitors.
The brother said they hadn`t come to cause trouble , they wanted Jackie`s belongings . Evidently his brother lived in Rotherham, Jackie had never even mentioned having a brother, the friend was from a village a couple of miles away she had been the one who had seen the engagement notice in the paper and informed Jackie`s wife. The wife, whose name was Mary was all dressed in black as if she was in mourning, no makeup very nondescript. I left the room I really didn`t want to sit there and be questioned or whatever. My Mum let them in ,let her handle it. Besides I was still reeling from the court appearance, the loss of my fiance and the humiliation. I would never go out again. I felt as though everyone was looking at me. I went to bed, I couldn`t sleep and could still hear them talking downstairs.