Following the incident last year, Sarah and I were both called to give evidence in the resulting trial. It was not an experience I was looking forward to. I kept going over the incident in my mind. I was terrified that I might forget something vital.
Until now I've never needed to know if pleaded, plead or pled is correct. For the record I think they all are, but journalists favour pleaded while apparently those in the legal profession plump for pled. I will follow their lead.
The charge was Attempted Murder, while the defendant had pled guilty only to the lesser charge of Actual Bodily Harm.
The court was an intimidating place, but a volunteer from Victim Support allayed many of our fears. She was brilliant and was able to answer many questions we didn't even realise we had. She provided us with copies of the statements we gave to the Police. I read and re-read them. I worried that the something vital I might forget was written on these sheets of paper and I scoured them to try and find it.
In the end neither of us were required to give evidence because the defendant changed his plea to guilty, although not to the charge of Attempted Murder, instead he has pled guilty to Wounding With Intent. It appears that the prosecution and defence have made a bargain and met somewhere in the middle.
The relief when we discovered that we wouldn't be needed was extraordinary and although I had been worried about it, still somehow a little anti-climactic. I don't know if it was the adrenalin of it or something else, but after the relief came the headache. I hadn't touched a drop, but I felt like I was hungover.
It was a very odd rollercoaster to be on.
The defendant will be sentenced later in the year, but the long and the short of it is that he won't be getting out soon.