It turned out that Joseph wanted his father to pick him and Johnny up at the harbour. That was a bit difficult as Bernard needed to stay around in case anything came up which required his legal expertise. Not that much would, I suspected. The impression I got was that Steve was being cooperative to get the story he wanted.
Given the situation, I told Bernard I would go down and pick the boys up. Twenty minutes later, I was trying to find a parking spot by the harbour. As I went past the marina, I noticed a very distinctive yacht moored there—the Tante Edith. I pulled into a parking space just before I got to the Belmont. Looking around, I saw the boys by the entrance to the Belmont, talking to Simone and Miss Jenkins, who clearly saw me pull up and waved for me to go over to them.
"Mr. Carlton, I was hoping to see you," Miss Jenkins said as I walked up to them. "As you are here alone, I gather my offer of accommodation will not be needed."
"Offer of accommodation?" I responded.
"Ah, Ben did not communicate this to you, then?" Miss Jenkins stated, assuming the answer to the question. "He phoned me late yesterday and asked if I could assist if they needed it. He was in no doubt, if they could not work things out, that they would have to move their location and that the press would no doubt be following them."
I looked at the yacht.
"Yes, the paparazzi tend to have a problem when their quarry takes to the water and they are in cars or on bikes," she observed. "I have a small place on the Thames with a private mooring."
"Very convenient," I observed.
"It is," she replied with a smile which I was sure a lot of people would prefer not to see.
"I hope this trip to Dunford has not been too much of an inconvenience," I stated.
"Not at all," Miss Jenkins replied. "I was due to visit tomorrow anyway, as I had to check on the hotel and talk to Arthur and the girls about the plans to upgrade the booking systems for the group. I was hoping to get a chance to talk with you, either tomorrow or Tuesday morning."
"I'm sorry, but I am in London every day this week and possibly next," I informed her.
"It's a pity, but it cannot be helped. Hopefully, I can get to meet you next time I am in Dunford," she stated. With that, she nodded to Simone and then turned towards the hotel and walked away. I got Joseph and Johnny in the car.
On our way back to the Priory, I tried to find out what was going on with Miss Jenkins.
"Haven't got a clue, Dad," Johnny informed me. "Simone texted me last night saying they were sailing round to Dunford and would be arriving about eleven. Uncle Bernard had just told us that we were coming to the Priory this morning, so I arranged for us to meet her. Spent most of the morning going around in the tender, then having lunch at the burger bar. Miss Jenkins turned up about half an hour ago. That's when Simone said she would have to call it a day."
I got back to the Priory in time to find that the first lot of interviews had finished and they were having a break before Steve Webber interviewed Trevor and Tyler about the film. As a result, I had to make tea and coffee for everyone, though Johnny and Joseph opted for chocolate, which they made themselves.
"How did things go?" I asked Ben when he came into the kitchen alone.
"Great," he replied. "Didn't ask a single thing about Phil's conviction or his relationship with Liam. Asked an awful lot about the film, how we got into production and what Phil's future plans were. He also wanted to know how we met."
"Talking about meeting, I saw Miss Jenkins this afternoon," I stated.
"In town, yes," I replied. "She told me you called her yesterday and asked for help in case you needed another bolt hole."
"I did," he answered. "Allen was liaising with Bert, one of her nephews, about it. Just in case we could not stay here."
"Well, it seems she has come in person to help you out, if needed," I told him.
"Didn't expect that," he replied. "Though it could turn out to be useful. Phil needs to speak to her."
"There’s a question I’ve been meaning to ask you. How did you get to know her, I mean, besides in your martial-arts class?"
Ben did not reply immediately, then sighed. "I suppose I’d better tell you the full story," he said.
"It would be useful," I replied.
"Well, Mike, do you remember Brian Potter?"
"Vaguely," I stated. "Wasn't he a year below you, so he would have been three years below me. Small boy a bit on the tubby side; he used to hang around with you quite a bit."
"That's him, and yes, age-wise he was a year below me, but he had been jumped up a year because of his academics, so we shared a lot of classes together. Anyway, he's one of Miss Jenkins nephews, though I think it's a great-nephew in his case.
"The year you went off to uni, there was an outbreak of bullying at the school. It was the year they closed down St. John's, and we got a lot of pupils from there. They had also brought their bullying culture with them. Brian was one of those who were being picked on. It was all difficult to deal with because the actual bullying took place outside of the school property.
"At first, I did not know what was going on, but I knew something was wrong as Brian suddenly became very quiet and withdrawn. He had always been something of an outgoing person before. Then his grades started to slip, and he was failing to hand in his homework.
"One lunchtime I heard one of the St. John's girls complaining that 'the twerp didn't have any money today, and we know he's rich; the boys will deal him on his way home.' Somehow, I knew they were talking about Brian. When school finished, I usually stayed on for gymnastics, but I made an excuse that I had hurt my ankle and left just after Brian did. I followed him home.
"He cut across the Heath; he hadn't gone far when this group of lads came out from some bushes and jumped him. They pushed him to the ground and started kicking him. Well, I ran in and started doing some kicking of my own. I had been doing martial arts for about four years then and had been a black belt for over a year.
"What was a surprise is an older lad suddenly turned up and started to lay into them as well, with the result they decided that retreat was the better part of valour. It turned out Brian's aunty had been worried about him and had guessed something was wrong, so put one of her lads to keep an eye on Brian. He was a bit further back than I was, which is why he took longer to come to Brian's aid.
"The short of it was that Miss Jenkins was grateful to me. She sorted things so that the boys who attacked Brian — and their parents — were given a warning that they could not ignore. I heard that some of the families actually decided to move. She also got me a place in a dojo where I could start to teach. My first student was Brian; he came along with some of his cousins. That's what got me into teaching martial arts. It's also why I stayed in town to do my degree. By the time I got to university, I had six martial-arts classes a week and was making over a hundred and fifty most weeks. It was too good to drop and go away to uni."
"Miss Jenkins got you teaching martial arts?"
"Yes, Mike, and to be honest, for most of the time I was at uni, most of my martial-arts students were members of her family or worked for them. Having that income made my days at uni a lot easier. She's made life easier for me one way or another a couple of times since."
"What does she get out of it?" I asked.
"That has puzzled me," he admitted. "She's never asked anything of us, even though she has invested in films we were making. She has never wanted anything but the return on the investment when there was one. Didn't seem too bothered the time a film bombed and we did not cover production costs."
"No, she wouldn't," I said. "She does not need to ask you for anything. You are providing her with what she needs, a way to legitimise money, which may not be illegal but is probably shady.
"One question. Any idea what happened to Brian?"
"Oh, yes, he went to the LSE; he's now an investment banker with a private bank in the city."
Trevor came into the kitchen and informed us that they were going in to start their interview.
Just over an hour later, Steve Webber left, smiling, and thanking me on his way out for facilitating things. I went through to the sitting room, where I knew they were all gathered.
"How did it go?" I asked as I entered.
"Good," Phil replied. "I think we certainly have a supporter in Steve; might possibly have an ally."
"We should have," Tyler commented. "I signed a pile of photos for his daughter, all with personalised messages."
"What happens now?" I enquired.
"Well, if things go the way we hope, nothing changes," Allen stated. "However, just in case Mr. Webber is not as reliable as he seems, I have called in some extra help."
Now Miss Jenkins' presence in the area made a lot more sense. Though I had a feeling that she was a lot more involved with Ben and Phil than anybody had let on. Following that line of thought, I waited till I could get Allen on his own. That did not take long; I caught him just as he was about to leave and was in the kitchen putting his coat on.
"Allen, am I right in assuming that your extra help is Miss Jenkins' family?" I asked.
"Yes," he replied. "If I pulled too many of my people from Manston, the press would get suspicious. That place always has high security; it's why we get so many of the events that we do. I needed extra manpower, and Miss Jenkins could supply it."
"She seems to do a lot with Ben and Phil," I commented.
"I suppose she does," he replied. "Then again, she is one of the major investors in their film projects and some of the other businesses they have set up, so she does have a vested interest in their well-being.
"Also, she is very grateful for what they did for Mark Thompson."
"What did they do?" I asked.
"It's more what they didn't do," Allen informed me. "They did not take advantage of him. The moment they saw the initial script that Mark had written, they knew he had a winner. Rather than buy the rights off him and tie him into a long-term writing contract, they contacted Edith and told her what the situation was and suggested that she set him up in a production company; they put some of their own money into it.
"It turns out that Mark was about to sign a deal with another party which would have given him a fraction what the rights were worth and committed him to six years of scriptwriting for a pittance. As it turned out, with Edith's help and funding and the input Ben and Phil could put in, he is now the successful boss of his own production company with a highly successful series in production. I hear he has a couple more in development. Edith was very grateful that Ben and Phil had dealt with him fairly — and she likes to show her gratitude."
"You are the only person I know who calls her Edith," I pointed out.
"Yes, but I knew her when I was a beat constable in the Met. My patch covered part of her territory, though she was not really in charge of it then. We did cross swords a couple of times; could never get anything on her, not even when I became a Detective Inspector. Anyway, by that time, Albert Thompson was in jail, and she was taking the families legit. There was nothing to get on her. Not that we really wanted to."
"Mike, law enforcement is not all black and white; there is a lot of grey area. Miss Jenkins and her family were very much in the grey area. A lot of the stuff they were involved in was shady, some of it downright illegal, but they avoided the really nasty side of the business: no drugs, no real violence. All right, they pimped girls and boys for that matter, but they always made sure that they were of age and that they were well looked after. There were a lot worse jobs that a girl could end up doing than working in one of the Thompson-family establishments. They also took care of their girls and boys. Made sure they had something to do when their time earning on their backs came to an end. Right, living on immoral earnings is illegal; however, in the Met, we took a realistic view. It was far better all-round if it was the Thompson family who was making a living that way than some of the other groups that were around, especially the ones trafficking in underage girls and boys from Eastern Europe.
"You may not approve of all Miss Jenkins’ activities, but let me assure you, things could be a lot worse in parts of London and elsewhere if the likes of Miss Jenkins were not around."
With that comment, he left.
Monday morning saw me up early and getting the train from Southminster into London to be at the Old Bailey in time for the start of proceedings. Martin was on the same train. On the way into town, he informed me that he had received a reply from Lee accepting the offer of the job. He also told me that he had got a contract of employment drafted and would let me have sight of it tomorrow. If it was OK, he would send a copy to Lee's solicitors to look over.
"Your father, no doubt," I stated.
"Yes," Martin replied. "I hope you don't object."
"No," I responded. "Just so long as Lee does not get stuck with a large legal bill. He's not going to be in a position to pay it for a while."
"That's OK, Mike; I told Dad to do it pro bono."
I met up with Bernard at his office. Martin was left there with a pile of notes from Bernard about things that needed to be dealt with while Bernard was in court. We then walked the half mile or so from the office to the Central Criminal Court.
Sir David greeted us when we entered the building. "May I introduce you to Kathy Donaldson, the newest member of Saints Giles and Katherine Chambers?"
"You've got tenancy?" Bernard said to Miss Donaldson. She nodded. "Congratulations, this calls for a celebration. I'll reserve a table at Sheekey's for lunch. When did it happen?"
"Friday," Sir David stated. "I let the senior clerks know last week that either Kathy got tenancy or I left to set up my own chambers, where she would have tenancy. I even made sure they knew that I had looked at a couple of possible office spaces. Although I am not a senior member of our chambers, I am by far the largest fee earner. My fees account for about fifty percent of the chambers' total fees.
"Sammy, our Senior Clerk called a chambers' meeting Friday afternoon. It seems he told the two heads of chamber that if I went, he was going, along with a large group of clerks. That swung it; a chamber cannot afford to lose a Senior Clerk like Sammy. For a start, senior clerks know where too many of the bodies are buried. Also, they have the contacts that bring in the briefs. Given the threat of not only losing me but also losing Sammy, they caved in and gave Kathy the tenancy."
"Why hadn't they done so before?" Bernard asked.
"Our joint heads of chambers were blocking it. They are two brothers, both now in their seventies. They should have retired years ago. However, they established the chambers back in the sixties. We only had space in chambers to take in one new tenancy; I had been pushing for Kathy to have it. It turns out that the nephew of our heads of the chamber is coming up for pupillage next year and will be looking for a tenancy. They were holding the place for him."
"Nepotism," Bernard replied.
"Which I can quite understand," Sir David said. "If either of my daughters were in the law, I would no doubt be doing the same. Fortunately, they both had the sense to take other occupations."
"What do they do?" I asked.
"My elder is a consultant neurosurgeon," he replied. "The younger did economics at the LSE and is now a banker. Makes more money in a month than I do in a year."
"Maybe I have chosen the wrong profession," Kathy commented.
"Not at all, my dear," Sir David responded. "You have a natural aptitude for the law and an uncanny ability at examination and cross-examination. Your talents would be wasted elsewhere. Now, let's go into court and apply those talents to putting a rather nasty creature away for as long as possible."
Once we were in the courtroom, we took the places we had been in last time I was there. Tim Tinkermann greeted me and said I had not missed much. Beryl glared at me from the other side of the room.
"You are clearly not popular there?" Tim stated, glancing at the defence table.
"Is anyone popular with their ex?" I asked, then remembered Chris was.
"Well, I am," Tim replied.
"Yes, we usually meet up at least once a week," he informed me. "At least once a month, she will call on me to babysit for her. We're really good friends. It just was not enough to base a marriage on, though. Fortunately, we realised that fairly quickly, and before either of us got bitter over it, we separated by mutual agreement, and things have worked out fine between us."
"All rise," the clerk to the court called out. The judge entered.
Once the initial formalities of the court were over, Sir David started to address the jury.
"We are here to examine the evidence against the accused. The charges against him are of the most severe kind: that he not only sexually abused a number of boys but was active in the encouragement of their abuse by others and in the making and distribution of indecent images involving those boys who were his victims…"
For the next hour, he carefully and precisely outlined the evidence against the accused, how it would be shown to the jury and what he expected the jury to deduce from this evidence. He outlined what they would hear from the police, from Mayers' victims, and what they would hear from those who were Mayers' accomplices.
As Sir David was outlining this, I looked at Mayers, who was seated in the dock. His expression was one of total calmness, with a slight smile on his face. It was as if none of this mattered. As if it was all a game he had to go through, but that in the end, would not mean anything. I scribbled a note to this effect and showed it to Tim, he looked at Mayers, then nodded. I passed the note forward to Bernard. He read it, then looked over at Mayers.
It was getting on for twelve when Sir David finished his opening address to the jury. The judge adjourned the court for lunch, stating we would restart at one-thirty. Bernard bundled us all out of the court and out of the building into the street, where he hailed a taxi to take us to St. Martin's Lane and Sheekey's seafood restaurant for lunch.
The first prosecution witness called that afternoon was Detective Inspector Wilkinson. He gave an account of how, following information received, he had executed a search warrant on the property of the accused. After that, Sir David led him through a series of questions about each of the items of evidence that had been found in the search; all that took the better part of an hour. Then Beryl started the cross-examination for the defence.
"Detective Inspector, you said you obtained the warrant on the basis of information received. Where did this information come from?" she asked.
"Mr. Allen Davidson provided the information," Wilkinson replied.
"And who is Mr. Davidson?" Beryl enquired.
"He is the head of security at Manston Hall," the DI answered.
"Am I correct in understanding that you acted on information provided by somebody who worked at Manston Hall, a property owned and run by the paedophile-film-star Matthew Lewis?"
"Objection," Sir David announced. The judge indicated that he should state his objection.
"My Lady, the ownership of Manston Hall has no relevance to this case and calling Matthew Lewis a paedophile is inaccurate. He is no such thing."
"My Lady, the defence intends to show that there is a secret agenda behind this prosecution, brought about by the interests of Ben Carlton and his sexual partner, Matthew Lewis, the owners of Manston Hall," Beryl stated. "It is a matter of record that Matthew Lewis was convicted under his real name of Phillip Smith in 1988 of a sexual offence with an underage boy."
"My Lady," Sir David said. "The offence in 1988 consisted of a minor sexual act between two boys who were less than a year apart in age. As such, it cannot be considered paedophilia."
"You are right, Sir David," the judge stated. "I will allow the objection. Members of the jury, you must ignore any mention that has been made that Matthew Lewis is a paedophile; this is not the case. I will now adjourn the court for thirty minutes and will see lead counsel in my chambers."
Bernard turned in his seat to speak to Tim and me, Kathy leant over to listen in. "Round one to Beryl the Bitch."
"I thought the judge had overruled her," I said.
"She did," Bernard confirmed. "That, though, was after the use of the word paedophile in relation to Phil. She also managed to get in details of his offence and got the judge to repeat the word. All that will stick in the jury's mind is that Matthew Lewis is a paedophile. Of course, it is reinforced by the recent publicity that has been given to that accusation in the popular press, which no doubt the jury has read.
"The one good thing is that she has now shown her hand. We were right in our supposition of how she would try to defend Mayers. They are going to try and set Ben up somehow. She is setting things up nicely for argument ad hominem."
"What is that?" I asked.
"Sorry, forgot you're a scientist," Bernard replied. "It is where, rather than attack something based on facts, you attack it on the basis of the character of the person who is putting it forward. It's a fallacious argument. Just because a person might not be a nice person does not mean that what they are saying is wrong. It is entirely possible for the biggest rogue going to put forward a valid point. Look at Hitler; everybody would agree he is one of the vilest people in history. However, the propositions he put forward to drag Germany out of the depression by massive public-works programmes, specifically the autobahn, worked. He also provided Germany with some of the best transport infrastructures in the world. There was nothing wrong with his propositions on those points. It was just his other ideas that were total crap.
"I strongly suspect that Beryl is being warned by the judge about the approach she has demonstrated so far."
"If she is being warned, why did Sir David go in?" I asked.
"Because judges must be impartial; they can't talk to one of the counsels without the other being there to make sure no behind-the-scene deals are being put in place."
"Well, at least she is being warned," I stated.
"Yes, the judge can tell her that the path she appears to be taking is not advisable," Bernard said. "The thing is, Beryl is not required to take her advice. It's the jury Beryl is addressing, not the judge. I doubt if most of the jury, if any, have even heard of argument ad hominem, let alone know that it is a fallacy."
Sir David and Beryl returned to the court.
"All rise," was called and the judge took her place. She reminded the witness that he was still under oath, then indicated to Beryl that she should continue.
"Am I correct in understanding that you acted on information provided by somebody who worked at Manston Hall, a property owned and run by the film star Matthew Lewis?" she asked once more.
"Mr. Davidson is employed at Manston Hall," the Detective Inspector stated. "As for the ownership and management of that property, I do not have direct knowledge, so cannot say."
The next witness was Allen Davidson. Sir David asked him questions establishing that he had become aware of the fact of the allegation against the accused and that consequential to this, he had passed the information on to the police. Then it was Beryl's turn.
"Exactly how did you pass the information to the police?" she asked.
"I phoned Detective Inspector Wilkinson and informed him of what I knew," Allen responded.
"Why did you call a Metropolitan Detective Inspector? Why not the local police where you were at the time?" she asked.
"I knew that Detective Inspector Wilkinson had been the lead detective in the case of Mark Glesson, who was investigated for and convicted of several sexual offences against underaged boys. The information I had come into my possession linked Andrew Mayers with Mark Glesson, a known paedophile who was still under investigation by DI Wilkinson."
Beryl did not look happy. There was an indrawing of breath from Tim. I looked at him. He whispered to me, "He's just used the same tactic back on her. Now Mayers is linked in the jury's mind with Glesson, a known paedophile."
"You are an employee of Manston Hall?" Beryl asked.
"No," Allen replied.
Beryl looked at him, surprised, and then down at her notes.
"I would remind you that you are under oath. Is it not correct that you work at Manston Hall?" she asked.
"Yes, I work there?" Allen replied.
"Then are you not employed there?"
"I am employed there; I am not employed by Manston Hall," Allen replied.
"Then who are you employed by?" she asked.
"I am employed by the Manston Estate which is owned by Manston Estates, Ltd," Allen replied.
"Which is no doubt owned by Matthew Lewis and his partner, Ben Carlton?" she stated, with a smile on her face.
"No, it is owned by a trust fund," Allen responded. Beryl looked furious. It was clear her information was incorrect.
"Who is the beneficiary of the trust?" she enquired.
I think the whole court heard the indrawing of breath by Bernard just then.
"I believe the beneficiary is your son, John Bernard Carlton-Smith," Allen stated. Beryl looked dumbfounded. She then stated that there were no more questions.
"Let that be a lesson to you," I heard Sir David say to Kathy. "Never ask a question you do not know the answer to."
The next witness was the security man from the hotel where Glesson was arrested. He just gave details of the events that led up to Glesson's arrest. Beryl objected on the grounds that Glesson's offence had nothing to do with this trial. However, Sir David stated that his next witness would show that the accused had been party to the drugging of the victim in that incident and that it would be shown that this was a pattern of behaviour that he followed across numerous offences. The judge overruled the objection, and details of Glesson's offence were presented to the court.
It having gone four, the judge adjourned the hearing till the following day. I got home just before seven. I was a bit surprised to find only Phil and Jenny in residence when I got there.
"Johnny has a late class, and Anne is studying in the library until he is finished," Jenny informed me. "I've prepared dinner; it is in the oven and should be ready by the time they get back."
"What about Ben and the others?" I asked.
"Allen took them off to town this morning. He's got them into a hotel near the Old Bailey. It seems that Tyler is required for the morning, and Trevor might be called tomorrow or Wednesday," Phil informed me. "Tyler should be coming back tomorrow after he has given evidence."
Tuesday morning, the prosecution started to call Mayers' victims. The first to be called was Tyler. He just told what had happened at the hotel pool, confirming he had no memory of what happened after he started to feel ill. He did, however, state that the person who had got the bottle of Tizer for him had been the accused.
Beryl's cross-examination of him, was, to say the least, perfunctory. She just asked him if he was sure of his identification, pointing out it had been some time ago and that he had been drugged. Tyler responded that he had not been drugged when Mayers brought him the Tizer, only after he drank it.
The next witness was a fingerprint expert who asserted that the only fingerprints on the bottle, other than Tyler's, were those of Mayers. Beryl did not even bother to cross-examine him.
He was followed by somebody only identified as S who gave testimony from behind a screen. His story was one of being an extra in a made-for-television film. Mayers had befriended him and promised him more work. That had ended up with him being raped by Mayers, whom he identified as being the defendant, then being used to make pornographic films.
Beryl only asked two questions of S. The first was if there had been an older boy involved in the film making. S answered yes. He was then shown a photo by Beryl and asked if this was the boy. S confirmed that it was. With that, Beryl asked that the photo be recorded in evidence as being identified as the boy who participated in the making of the pornographic films. I was not able to see the photo from where I was, but Bernard passed back a note. "It's a photo of Trevor when he was about fourteen."
The next witness, also behind a screen was identified as K. His testimony essentially was a mirror of that given by S. Again, Beryl got him to identify the photo as the older boy who was involved in the filming.
It was now past twelve-forty, and the court adjourned a little early for lunch. We all went to a small café not far from the Old Bailey. There were several people there who knew Sir David, so I guessed this was a place frequented by Old Bailey lawyers. In that, I was right; for about five minutes after we had got our table, Beryl came in with the defence team in tow. Unfortunately for her, there were no tables left. They had to get something to go.
"How do you think it is going?" I asked.
"The defence is not making sense," Kathy stated.
"It's not supposed to make sense," Sir David commented.
"Why's that?" Tim asked.
"Because it's not a defence," Sir David replied. "It is a set of ploys to discredit the prosecution witnesses. Not certain what they hope to gain from it, as I think I can carry the jury on the evidence so far. However, it is going to mean a messy few days ahead. Ms. Carlton-Smith is being her normal nasty self."
We got back to the courtroom just before two. At two o'clock precisely, the call 'All rise' was given, and the judge entered. There were some administrative procedures to go through, and then Sir David called his next witness: Trevor.
I had been hoping that Trevor would be able to give his testimony from behind a screen as the two earlier boys had done; apparently, though, this could not be done. Part of the legal arguments I had not been present for last week had been over this point. The judge had decided that the two previous boys, being still under eighteen, could give their testimony from behind the screen. Trevor, though, was over eighteen and would not be given that protection. He had to sit in the witness stand looking across at the defendant, who was sneering at him.
For the next three hours, Sir David took Trevor through the whole history of his abuse. From being groomed by Gleeson and being raped and pimped out to other men, who included Mayers. He told how after Gleeson's arrest, Mayers had forced him to take part in porno videos and to have sex with groups of men. Three or four times during the telling, Trevor broke down in tears. Each time he did, the judge ordered a ten-minute recess.
Just about five, the judge asked Sir David how long the examination of the witness was going to take.
"About another half hour, My Lady," Sir David replied.
He did finish within the half hour. At the end of it, Trevor looked drained. The judge adjourned the court until the morning.
As Trevor exited the witness stand, I started to stand up and go to him. Bernard put his hand on my shoulder.
"We knew this would be hard," Bernard told me. "Somebody is waiting for him."
As we entered the lobby of the court, I saw Allen ushering two figures towards the exit. The one I could not make out; they were wearing a hooded coat pulled well over the face. I guessed it was Trevor because the other figure I knew: Arthur.
"That was well-timed," Bernard said to Sir Allen.
"Thank you. I thought it was essential to get it set up so the lad could have a break before the defence has a go at him. I suspect they mean to make it as unpleasant as possible," he replied.
"Why would they do that?" I asked.
"To persuade him not to give evidence if there is a retrial," Sir David stated.
"Is there going to be a retrial?" I asked.
"I sincerely hope not," Sir David commented. "However, she appears fixed on setting up a possible cause for appeal, which would indicate that she is hoping for a retrial. That might be difficult. We had nine victims lined up to give evidence against Mayers, but six have dropped out. Refused to testify. The other two would only do so as long as their anonymity was assured. I doubt if we will get them back for a retrial. That would only leave Trevor Spade, so he is going to be given a very nasty ride in there tomorrow."
"What happens if there is a retrial?" Tim asked.
"I would guess that we will have none of the victims prepared to give evidence. In that case, probably the best we could get him on would be possession of indecent material. He would probably go guilty on that; I don't think he would have much choice. That would get him four years max, with the time he will have been inside by then, he would walk free from the courtroom."
"Surely, you could get him on making the child porn?" I stated.
"Actually, no," Sir David responded. "Without the victims' statements to prove he was making the stuff, we have no hard proof that he was involved."
It was past eight when I got home. Anne had made a beef-and-bean stew with baked potatoes. Unfortunately, tasty though it was, I did not have any appetite for it.
Allen brought Tyler back about half an hour after I got in. I asked Allen how Trevor was.
"He's a bit down, dreading tomorrow," Allen answered.
"I'm not surprised," I replied. "It was bad enough today, and Sir David was being friendly."
"That's not how it sounded from what Trevor said," Allen responded.
"I can assure you he was," I stated.
Allen could not stay; he had to get back to looking after his charges in London, though he did have a short chat with Phil before he left. Tyler declined any dinner, saying he had eaten earlier in town. Personally, I doubted that but knew how he probably felt.
I was not in a good mood by the time I arrived in court on Wednesday morning. For a start, I had not slept well. To make matters worse, there had been problems with the train. As a result, the court was already sitting when I arrived. Fortunately, it had only just started, and a couple of administrative points were being dealt with before Trevor was called to the stand.
When he was called, the judge reminded him that he was still under oath. Trevor acknowledged that he knew that. Then Beryl started the cross-examination.
I was surprised that her questions seemed somewhat mild. She carefully went through each point that Sir David had made in his examination of Trevor and sought clarification on them. There were a couple of times when she pressed things, but at no time did it seem that she was pushing the point hard. Then she got to the part about how Trevor came to tell the police.
"Am I to understand after your revelation of abuse by Mr. Gleeson you then spent a period of time alone with Benjamin Carlton?" she asked.
"Yes," Trevor replied.
"Why was that?" Beryl asked.
"I was upset; Ben was calming me down, helping me to get things in perspective," Trevor replied.
"I see," Beryl said. "In your statement to the police when they asked why you were making your statement at this time, you said, 'I'm able to see what was really going on.' Is that correct?"
"And Mr. Carlton helped you to see what was really going on?" she asked.
"Yes," Trevor replied. "He got me to think about what had happened; when I did, I could see how I had been used and manipulated."
"I think we can all agree that you were manipulated," Beryl stated. "I put it to you that you were manipulated by Benjamin Carlton. That he used you to make false allegations against my client. I put it to you that it was Benjamin Carlton that was abusing you, not my client. Isn't that the truth?"
"NO, No, no…" Trevor responded, weeping. The judge adjourned for half an hour.
After half an hour, it started again.
"Isn't it true that you have spent the last ten days in residence at Manston Hall?" Beryl asked.
"No," Trevor replied.
"I must remind you that you are under oath," Beryl stated. "Now can you tell us where you have been resident for the last ten days?"
"After my return from filming, I stayed at my home address until Monday, since then, I have been at the Bedford Hotel in Southampton Row."
Beryl looked perplexed at the last answer. She picked up a copy of the News of the World.
"This newspaper states that you were at Manston Hall with Matthew Lewis and his lover, Ben Carlton — who is also your lover. Do you deny that?"
"Yes, I do," Trevor replied. "You really shouldn't rely on what you read in the papers; they make things up. Just like you."
"So, you deny that you were with your lover?"
"No," Trevor answered.
"So, you were with Ben Carlton."
"No, I wasn't," Trevor insisted.
"But you said you were with your lover," Beryl snapped.
"And your lover is Ben Carlton," she insisted.
"That is not correct," Trevor replied.
"Then who is your lover?"
"Arthur Lee," Trevor replied.
"And where does he live?"
"The Stable House Apartment, Grange Farm, Sidings Lane, Lower Southmead," Trevor answered.
"I put it to you that you are lying," Beryl shouted at Trevor.
"Mrs. Carlton-Smith, I will not permit such aggression towards a witness in my court," the judge announced.
"My apologies, My Lady, but this witness is blatantly lying to the court," Beryl replied.
Sir David stood up. "If I may assist the court?"
"Of course, Sir David, please proceed," the judge said.
"I believe the person named by the witness is within the precinct of the courts. The court could summon him to give witness as to where the witness has been resident."
Beryl glared at Sir David, who smiled back at her.
"Thank you, Sir David. Usher, will you ascertain if the party," the judge looked down at her notes, "Arthur Lee, is within the precinct of the courts, and if he is, could you request his presence in the court?"
"As you wish, My Lady," the usher stated and departed from the court.
"It is nearly one, so I am adjourning this court for lunch till two o'clock. The witness may stand down but will remain under oath and may be recalled to the stand."
"What's happening," I asked Bernard once the judge had departed from the bench.
"Sir David has just triggered a very unusual procedure," Bernard replied.
"The Judge is summoning a witness to the court. Normally witnesses are called by the prosecution or the defence and may be examined or cross-examined by either party. However, judges may, at their discretion, summon a party to give evidence before the court. In this case, they will be examined by the judge, not by either of the counsel. It's not done often, but it can be done."
"Actually, this is the first time in thirty-plus years at the bar I have known it to be done," Sir David stated.
I looked across at Beryl, who was in conversation with her team, looking very unhappy.
At two o'clock, we were all back in the courtroom. Arthur was also there, being kept to one side by an usher.
The judge returned to the bench, and after the usual formalities, she enquired of the usher if the required party had been found.
"He has, My Lady, and is in attendance as requested," the usher replied.
"Would you please escort the person to the witness box," the judge instructed.
Arthur was escorted by the usher to the witness box.
"Thank you for answering my summons to attend this court," the judge said to Arthur. "I have to ask you to take the oath as a witness; I will ask the clerk to administer it."
"I would like to affirm, if possible," Arthur stated.
"That is perfectly acceptable," the judge stated. "Please administer the affirmation."
The clerk handed Arthur a card and asked him to read the words on it. Arthur did. The clerk took back the card and resumed his place at the clerks table.
"Would you please state your full name?" the judge asked.
"Arthur John Lee."
"Would you please state your home address?"
"The Apartment, The Stable House, Grange Farm, Sidings Lane, Lower Southmead," Arthur responded.
"Do you know the person of Trevor Spade?" the judge asked.
"Yes, he is my partner."
"Does he normally reside with you?"
"Was he in residence with you last week?"
"Yes, he was; he came to London on Monday," Arthur replied.
"When did he arrive at your residence?" the judge asked.
"A week last Saturday," Arthur replied.
"Thank you," the judge said. "Do either of the counsels have any questions?" The look on her face indicated that she did not expect either of them to have any. Both stayed silent.
"I thank you for your assistance to the court; you can stand down as a witness; the thanks of the court to you."
"Thank you," Arthur said as he came out of the witness box and was escorted from the court by the usher.
Trevor was recalled to the witness box.
"Do you have any further questions for the witness?" the judge asked Beryl.
"Yes, My Lady."
"You may continue with the cross-examination," the judge directed.
"What is your relationship with Ben Carlton," Beryl asked Trevor.
"He is a friend; he is also the associate producer of the film I'm currently working on," Trevor replied.
"Isn't he also your lover?" she asked.
"No," Trevor snapped back.
"Didn't you get your current part because you were sleeping with him and have been for many years?" she insisted.
Trevor laughed. "I only met Ben in February; that was after I had been approached to play the part by the casting director."
"And who was the casting director?" Beryl asked. There was an insistence in her voice which sounded rather desperate.
"Mary Shields," Trevor replied. "She's cast me in several parts in the past and thought I would be suitable for this one. She said it must have been written with me in mind."
"So, you claim you did not know Ben Carlton before February this year," Beryl said. "I would like you to look at the following TV interview you gave on your twelfth birthday." She indicated to one of her team. A monitor at the front of the court, visible to the jury, lit up. After a moment or two, a clip from a television programme was shown. A young Trevor and the interviewer were shown.
'You've got a lot of cards on display,' the interviewer said.
'Yes, though the ones that are important are the ones on the mantelpiece,' Trevor said.
'They are from people I know. That one is from Mrs. Jones — she lives down the road — and that is from Mr. Carlton. Not sure where he lives, but he comes here quite a lot.'
The TV clip finished.
"You clearly say there that you had a birthday card for your twelfth birthday from Mr. Carlton and he came to your house quite a lot. Do you still claim you only met Ben Carlton in February."
"Yes," Trevor replied.
"Then how do you account for him sending you a birthday card?"
"He didn't," Trevor stated, with an emphasis on the "didn't".
"Then who was it from, and why were they visiting you home?" Beryl asked.
"That was from Michael Carlton, your ex-husband. He's a writer, and my dad is his agent. When he had meetings with Dad, he used to come to dinner at the house. I met him quite a number of times in that period."
There was a snicker from the jury.
Bernard turned around and leaned over to speak to me, in a whisper which must have sounded around the courtroom, he said. "Somebody didn't do their homework right." There was another round of snickering from the jury. The judge gave a strained cough, in which she was joined by the clerk and a couple of the ushers.
"Are you saying you never had any sexual relationship with Ben Carlton?" Beryl demanded.
"Of course, I am. I was fed up with old men, had enough of them fucking me with the ones he” — Trevor pointed at Mayers — “had lined up for me," Trevor shouted in reply.
"Do you have any more questions?" the judge asked Beryl.
"No," was the reply.
The next witness was a man in his early sixties. He admitted he was a paedophile and that he had been involved with Mayers in the making of pornographic videos. In his statement, he confirmed that Trevor had been one of the boys used in the making of the films. He also identified two other boys from their photographs. These, we were informed, were the boys S and K who had given evidence earlier.
"How much did you make from the videos you helped film?" Sir David asked.
"Didn't make a penny," the witness said. "We had to pay him to take part. It was always, pay Mayers; we even had to pay him for the boy at the villa, who he was getting for free."
"What boy and what villa?" Sir David asked.
"He used to organise trips over to France to a villa owned by a friend. The first year there were three boys there — never knew their names. The next two years there was only the one boy, but we had use of him for the week."
I suddenly felt ill. Something inside me told me that the witness was talking about Johnny. Quickly I scribbled a note to Bernard which I passed over, but by the time I did, Sir David has ceased his questions and Beryl indicated that she had none.
With that, Sir David indicated that he had completed the direct case for the prosecution.
It being nearly five by now, the judge adjourned for the day.
Sir David invited us to join him for a drink in the Punch and Judy. I declined the invitation, wanting to get home. I started to walk along the street towards the tube station. A stretch limousine with darkened windows pulled up a bit in front of me. The passenger window started to wind down.
As I walked past it, a voice said, "Want a lift to the Priory?" I turned to look at the car. Allen was in the passenger seat. "Get in the back; I'm taking Trevor and Arthur home."
I climbed into the back of the car. There was seating in the back for six. Trevor and Arthur were sitting on the bench seat across the back of the limo. I took one of the side seats.
"Fasten your seat belt, please," Leni said over the intercom. I fastened it, and the car moved off.
To be honest, I would probably been quicker taking the tube, then the train, given the amount of time it took to get out of Central London, let alone out of Greater London during the rush hour. It had gone seven by the time we got home. However, that had given Trevor some time to pull himself together a bit after his experience in court. Nothing much was said in the car on the way back. Arthur, though, held Trevor's hand the whole time. That gesture seemed to mean a lot to Trevor.
When we got back to the Priory, Anne insisted that Trevor and Arthur join us for dinner. She had done a cassoulet, and there was plenty of it. Allen and Leni had been included in the offer of food, but they declined, informing us that they were due at Manston by nine and had to be back in London for the morning.Over dinner, Trevor opened up a bit and spoke about what happened in court. By the time the meal was over, Johnny, Anne and Arthur had a very good idea what Trevor had gone through. Johnny looked furious. Anne got up and left the room. Arthur put his arm across Trevor's shoulders and pulled the boy into him, to hug and comfort.