They Charged Me with Murder
“They Charged me
-Live transcript of my friend Mr. P.
I went on a night out with me friends. It got to the point where we’re out and in a bit of a nightclub, opened till two in the morning. I’m watching the boxing on the TV, just having a drink, talking to a few girls and having a laugh. A fight broke out on the dance-floor and I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a couple of my mates who was with me that was involved. So the first thing I knew of it was them getting thrown out, but then all the other lads that was with them and got fighting with them got thrown out as well.
I don’t know what it was about, or why…nothing whatsoever. We all got chucked outside, and we thought, ‘It’s half-one now, let’s fucking go home…’ It was an average night and now this has happened. We walked from the club down to this kebab shop and was gonna have something to eat, get a taxi from the shop, and then go. I didn’t realize but all the lads had followed us down to this kebab shop.
We went inside and ordered me food and then I got some chips and my mates were like, “Oh, there they are…” so I just, ‘Oh shit. What we gonna do?…’ I sort of just went outside to talk and see what the situation was and what was what.
They was arguing with one of my mates and he’s only small. I didn’t really know him that well at the time, and they was really arguing with him. I sort of got involved, because, I was 21 at the time and he was 20…probably, maybe 21, but he was a bit smaller. There was another guy who was with us who didn’t say anything. There was five or six of them and they was all about 30. They was quite a bit older than I was; they was quite a bit bigger than I was as well at the time.
This one lad was going absolutely nuts, he was completely on drugs…fucking, going absolutely insane. I started to get involved, trying to, you know, say, “Look, well let’s just fucking go home. It’s over nothing. It’s…whatever. Let’s sort it and let’s just go home… We’re going home.” He was going absolutely nuts, really really wanted a fight, sort of thing. His mates started holding him back. I sorta started laughing, like, ‘It’s pathetic what we’re doing.’ It was absolutely pathetic. His friend was physically holding him back. But he was saying, “I’m gonna fucking stab ya! I’ll fucking cut your eyes out! I’m gonna bite your ears off! I’ll cut your tongue out!” All sorts a shit… But it was all aimed at me, and I was like, ‘This has changed from being him to my mate…’ I sort of, was a little bit…obviously I was quite scared and on the back foot thinking, ‘There’s fucking loads of them. This guy’s going absolutely nuts. And now he’s threatening he’s got a knife and he’s gonna stab me and fucking cut my eyes out.’
Well, anyway, as we’re arguing, I’m sort of trying to laugh it off, and you know, save face, but still trying to figure out a way to get away. It was in a semi-circle to a wall outside the kebab shop. Anyway, I just…can’t remember exactly what I said, whether I called him a clown or, I can’t remember what exactly… I try and forget about it all the time. And, his mate let him go, and he come at me. He was only a few feet away, and I literally, didn’t even think about it. I knew that at the least, he was gonna punch me, so I hit him first with a left-hand and a right-hook, just a ‘boom-boom’, two really quick shots…
This is on a Friday night (voice cracks) and then on the Sunday night the police rocked up at my house…and he’d died…
He was in his early thirties…
I didn’t touch him while he was on the ground. I lost it and I was shouting at his mates, “You’re all a bunch of fucking idiots. Tell him when he’s awake…,” cause he was knocked out, or I thought he was knocked out on the ground… I’m yelling at his mates, “When he wakes up, you tell him that he was being a fucking idiot!,” and all that shit. I just…just fucking ran off. I was…fucking…you know…
And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t think…anything much of it until the police come to the house and knocked on the door. They actually char…, no they didn’t charge me…yes they did charge me actually…the charged me with murder to start with, because of what his friends had said…that I’d beaten him until, he’d…you know…and it was just complete bullshit…
Eventually when it went to court and I had my trial it was dropped to manslaughter. I had a fray, which is something to do with when you make the public feel scared…you know, like a gang-fight sort of thing that everyone else doesn’t know whether they are safe or not. And I was charged with that…twice. I had 14 months waiting for trial on police bail on a ‘tag’ house-arrest thing…absolutely a mess mentally. Fucking twenty-one years old.
I had a four week trail. The whole time through my case, I’d been told by a private investigator, that, they’ve got it in for me. There’s someone in there somewhere…somewhere there’s something amiss in this case why they were pushing it, cause there was not enough evidence to even suggest that…I’d done it on purpose, or they were in any way gonna get a conviction out of it…because of the security cameras, how everything suggested… They even pulled in stuff at the time, which was disgusting… They brought in footage and they’re saying that this guy’s me and he’s changing his t-shirt with this other guy, which they’re saying is my friend. They say me swapping t-shirts shows a sign of guilt. And I’m sat there and I’m thinking, ‘We fucking didn’t change t-shirts?… I’m not blanked out. We didn’t change t-shirts!’ And I’m watching the CCTV, and I’m fucking wracking my brain, and I couldn’t fucking… ‘I didn’t fucking do that. I don’t remember that. I cannot remember that.’ And if I cannot remember that, then what am I… And I’m going crazy, sleeping on it and I’m like, ‘What the fuck?’
Turns out that it wasn’t anywhere near where this had happened. It was two completely different people, but they fit the description slightly. Turns out they was wearing different colored trainers, so I could tell that in the end that that’s not me or the trainers that they recorded at the scene. But there was a lot of shit and they tried to throw so much mud at me. It was one of those cases where they’ve slung so much mud and they try and make it stick sort of thing.
I was acquitted and I got found ‘not-guilty’ of all of that…everything. I literally went in there completely telling the truth and I was willing for whatever the jury said. Because I’ve gotta live with it. I’ve gotta deal with it regardless…
14 months, waiting for trial on the police tag. A four week case. I never got a penny reimbursed. The only thing I could claim for reimbursement was for was…not any counseling, not any therapy, or any of that sorta stuff. But I could claim for parking at the court, for the court time, it was the only reimbursement they would give me.
I’m, sort of…I can deal with it and I can talk about it. But at the same time I don’t like new people that I meet to… Because I lost a lot of friends through it. They just read the newspaper…and it made me look like an absolute asshole. Don’t get me wrong…I don’t want to slander someone who’s dead, and just try to justify it in any way shape or form. I know now that he was a real…bit of a bad lad and he was this and that, and I…I don’t want-wish it on anyone no matter what… I wouldn’t wanna try and justify it in any way or anything. I wish I could change it. I really do.
I was acquitted in November. I decided, ‘Right, I’m gonna sort my life out. I’m gonna start boxing and I’m gonna get some confidence back…sort myself out.’ I went hard and started running every night and I was going to the gym every night. In January, and it was freezing cold, and…I’d actually mentioned it to my mom, probably a week earlier, that there was a car following me around. I didn’t know whether it were me…I was going through a bit of counseling, and seeing a few people and that sort of stuff, trying to get my head right. I always had to be around people because I couldn’t be on me own and left with me own thoughts. I’d just be…not that I’d ever kill myself or anything like that. I wasn’t at that sort of stage, but I just was…in a bad place…depressed and what-have-you. I had to be moving forward and even now I still have to be moving forward and doing something. Something to look forward to, or something that I’m aiming for or whatever… I’m that sort of person. Otherwise I do get depressed, and feel in a hole and shit.
Anyway, when I was out running this one night…I don’t even remember going for a run. All I know is that the ambulance picked me up. Some lads had run me over in a car. They left me for dead on the side of the road. I was absolutely fucking scared to death, because I couldn’t actually see. I was talking and I could hear people and I couldn’t see them. The ambulance driver said that two boys had found me on their way home from work from washing pots in a bar. They found me and they called the ambulance and the ambulance driver told me that it was a good thing that it was so cold outside because it offset any swelling in the brain and all that sort of stuff.
To be quite honest with you, I was unbelievably lucky because I was bruised massively down the back of my legs. The back of them and the bottom of my calf was black. I’d cut the back of my head. I’d had a bit of blood on my top and obviously bruised up around me back and around me hip. But other than that, I was no broken bones. I must have really been knocked out from the blow to the back of the head on the windscreen or whatever.
And so, after I got run over, the police… I even know of a house, down the road that’s got CCTV on their house on their driveway, facing out towards the road. It’ll see a car go past or whatever. My mom went round to them and asked, “Have you got CCTV? Was it on at the time?” “Yes it was.” “Would you mind giving it to the police?” “Yes, of course we will if they come round. They can have it, no problem.” And the police never even went round for the CCTV. And they put it down to…when I had to ring up and ask, “What’s going on? Have you caught these guys? What the fuck is happening?” They turned around and said that, oh they think that because I was so…draining weight for boxing, and so exhausted running up the hill, because there was a bit of a hill before it, that I fell over and knocked myself out. And they literally brushed it under the fucking carpet. My mom was disgusted with it, and obviously I was, but at the same time I was like, “I’m going. I can’t be around here anymore.”
Like I said, I lost a…. Anyone who I could talk to, who was a friend who I’d talked to, I would tell them my side of the story and you know, what’s what, and, they’d… But then anyone that’s slightly outside who knows of me, I was fucking completely alienated by a lot of people around me and I was a fairly popular guy right in my area. So, I lost a lot of friends…you know…
So, that’s why I left for travelling. I didn’t have no money for going travelling. And I decided to go. I need to go. I’m fucked up in here, I need to go and sort myself out. I’d got a girlfriend, a really good girl, but I needed to travel. I always wanted to do it, just never had the money. I went and did a clinical trial. It’s where you go into a clinic and they pay you money to test new drugs on you. I thought, fuck it, I needed the money. They paid me and I got two grand out of the clinical trial. I got to Australia with like two thousand, four hundred and some odd change. I’d spent about eight-hundred of it in Thailand, ‘Oh, I’m going travelling,’ and not realizing how expensive Australia is. And I haven’t been back home since. I’ve been to like 30-odd or 35 countries since then, travelled around.
I’ve started up doing charity work and trying to help people where I can and that sort of stuff. I’ve got another friend in Australia who is trying to help Aboriginal people and I try to help him out a bit. I decided that I want to be a type of person…I don’t wanna do it for thanks or any of that sort of shit. In Zambia I helped build a bore well and a classroom. I don’t do it for recognition…I want to be that type of person that does that sort of thing. And anytime any of my friends are doing something for charity, I’ll always do my best to try and give, you know, at least something. Cause I know how hard it is and how frustrating it is to do a fundraiser, and no one…
I keep in touch with a few people on my Facebook and that, but I really try and keep it very private. When I go home as well, I really don’t want to… I know time heals…and…I’m not exactly expecting any sort of, an issue. But, still, I’m still gonna see the people, the same people, and I’m gonna be in the same sort of area, and someone’s gonna tell someone I’m back and… I’m only going back for a couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I feel like, everyone I’ve met, and I’ve told a few people as I’ve been travelling around and stuff, and I’ve got real close with people… But it’s my side of the story. It’s not what the people from back home and the past that’ve read the papers, and there’s still the side of all the bullshit that was around then. But I’ve gotta go back for my mates wedding. I am intrigued to go home, but at the same time, I am worried. I’ve got a really supportive family…my mom and my dad and my brother are awesome. But I wanted to keep the time there short, deliberately.
I just feel like I’ve moved on.