Sunday, 13 July 2014

Careless Whispers

Sunday afternoon band practice happened as normal at the house of Arcadia Thiessen and Tabernacle Calderone in Melbourne. A short tour to Adelaide was planned for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of that week and the band were putting finishing touches to the set list they proposed to play during that tour. Guitarist and band leader Tabernacle Calderone was making sure the other two band members did what he wanted. He was particularly harsh on the drummer, Stiles Parsons.

Whilst band practice was in progress Arcadia Thiessen was on the telephone to Daisy Farthing who was reminding her that on Tuesday night they were scheduled to go to the Art Gallery opening of their friend and gallery owner Germaine Greyling. Arcadia said she had organised a babysitter for the evening for her two children and was looking forward to catching up with Germaine and her.

As far as their children were concerned, this looked like a normal Sunday.  The children knew how to entertain themselves without interrupting the band or their mother.

During a break in practice Stiles Parsons talked to Arcadia. She told him once again Tabernacle Calderone was making her life very difficult. Stiles had always had a crush on Arcadia, but she never allowed anything to happen in respect of it. Many times during conversations with Stiles Arcadia had remarked about Tabernacle having affairs with other women. Arcadia always maintained that she had never had any affairs.

Band practice resumed and continued without incident for about another hour. Then Stiles and the bass player packed up their gear and went home.

Tuesday evening arrived and so did the babysitter to look after the two children while Arcadia went to the Art Gallery opening with Daisy Farthing and Germaine Greyling. Tabernacle Calderone and his band had already left for their tour to Adelaide.

Immediately upon arriving at the Art Gallery Arcadia saw Daisy and Germaine and walked over to them. The three women were chatting to each other for about ten (10) minutes when an artist Germaine knew, Wilbur Runkle, came over to them and said hello to Germaine. In turn Germaine introduced Wilbur Runkle to Arcadia and Daisy. It was obvious that he took an instant liking to Arcadia. As she talked and gestured from time to time during the conversation the wedding ring of Arcadia was unmistakable.

Germaine left Arcadia and Daisy to meet and mingle with other guests at the gallery. Wilbur Runkle also mingled with other gallery guests, but his attention was never really far away from Arcadia. Daisy and Arcadia wandered round the gallery together looking at the art and occasionally talking to other guests.

About an hour later Arcadia, Daisy and Germaine met up again and started talking amongst themselves. Wilbur Runkle walked over to them and joined in the conversation. He stood beside Arcadia and made his interest in her obvious. She did nothing to discourage his interest. Daisy and Germaine could see what was going on, so they talked to each other, rather than involve Arcadia and Wilbur. Wilbur was not wasting any time with Arcadia and he put his hand on her bottom as her spoke to her. Arcadia was very happy with the attention she was receiving and was not at all troubled by the fact that other guests at the gallery could see that Wilbur had his had on her bottom whilst he was talking to her.

Daisy and Germaine could hear most of the conversation between Arcadia and Wilbur, but they continued with their own conversation. During a brief silence in their conversation they heard Wilbur ask Arcadia to go home with him.

The response of Arcadia was immediate, “Just let me make a telephone call”.

With that she immediately took out her mobile telephone and rang the babysitter. Arcadia said, “Something has come up. Can you look after the children for the whole night? I know you have done it before and I am happy to pay you properly for so doing.”

The babysitter agreed and Arcadia said, “Thank you. I will be home in the morning to get the children off to school.”

Arcadia then ended the telephone call with the babysitter and put her mobile telephone back in her handbag. She then said to Wilbur Runkle, “Yes, I will go home with you”.

The response of Daisy and Germaine was as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Arcadia thanked them both for a lovely evening and said goodbye to them. Wilbur briefly removed his hand from the bottom of Arcadia to thank Germaine and Daisy for a lovely evening. Wilbur then said good evening to them both and returned his hand to the bottom of Arcadia as they walked out of the gallery together.

It was a short walk to Wilbur’s car and a short drive to his home. As soon as Wilbur shut the front door to his home the sexual encounter between Arcadia and Wilbur started in earnest. It lasted for about half an hour and saw them visit several rooms of his house. Ultimately they finished up in his bed where they slept the rest of the night.

Arcadia woke about 4:30 am to go to the toilet. She then got dressed and used her mobile telephone to order a taxi to take her home. By that stage Wilbur had awoken and he asked her what she was doing. She said she was going home as she had things to do there.

Wilbur said, “Can I have your telephone number?”

Arcadia replied, “I am not sure if I want to give it to you. For now I will leave you my underwear as a souvenir. I may come back later and get them from you.”

Arcadia then lifted up her dress, removed her underwear and dropped them on the end of the bed. She then picked up her purse and walked out the front door. As she did so the taxi she had ordered earlier arrived. She got in the taxi and it took her home.

Once Arcadia was home she had a shower and then started making preparations for her children to go to school that day.  She also made preparations for her to go to work.

When she was at work Arcadia spoke to both Daisy and Germaine on the telephone and thanked them again for an enjoyable evening. No mention was made of her going home with Wilbur Runkle.

Post-Adelaide Tour
When Tabernacle Calderone returned from the Adelaide tour he told Arcadia that Stiles Parsons was sacked from the band, that he would not be playing in the band any longer. No explanation was offered as to why that happened. Arcadia did not ask Tabernacle any questions about Stiles or the Adelaide tour.

Subsequently Stiles joined a new band as their drummer and he thought he was happy there. In conversation with Bonham Trudeaux, a friend of one of the members of the new band, Bonham revealed that he was having a sexual relationship with Arcadia Thiessen and that she was an extremely willing partner insofar as the sex was concerned. Whenever they get together they spent most of their time having sex. This shocked Stiles Parsons because Arcadia Thiessen always denied participating in any such behaviour and she always maintained how hurt she was when she found out her husband Tabernacle was cheating on her. She also knew Stiles Parsons was very attracted to her.

Bonham continued his story about his new girlfriend Arcadia. He said that he had photographs of her naked and performing oral sex on him. He then showed Stiles six (6) photographs he had on his mobile telephone. Stiles immediately recognised the woman in the photographs as Arcadia. The experience was making him feel sick, but he tried not to show any discomfort. He could see from at least two (2) of the four (4) photographs of Arcadia naked that they were taken at her home. He could also see in the two (2) photographs where Arcadia was performing oral sex that her wedding ring was clearly visible. By that stage Stiles had had enough and he made an excuse to leave. Bonham said good-bye to him and was none the wiser as to what Stiles really knew.

Unbeknown to Stiles Parsons Arcadia Thiessen also had a boyfriend in Sydney, Garlick Duckworth, whom she would organise to see every time she went to Sydney for her work. Arcadia would use the flimsiest of excuses to justify going to Sydney for work and that would give her an opportunity to spend time with Garlick Duckworth.

On the latest trip to Sydney Arcadia met a man on the plane, Guinness Chesterfield. He was several years younger than her and possessed of significant self-confidence. They were seated in adjoining seats and Guinness Chesterfield  made it very clear in rather loud tones that he wanted to get Arcadia into bed. Whilst Arcadia Thiessen did nothing to encourage Guinness Chesterfield, she certainly did nothing to discourage his attention.

When they got off the plane Guinness Chesterfield followed her to her taxi and she agreed to go to his hotel with him. She said she preferred those arrangements because that enabled her to leave his company whenever she saw fit. When they got to his hotel Guinness Chesterfield checked in and they both went to his room. Sex commenced almost immediately and it continued for about twenty (20) minutes. When it finished Guinness Chesterfield asked Arcadia Thiessen for her telephone number, but she refused to give it to him.

She said, “You really were not all that good and I am not in a hurry to see you again. In other circumstances I might leave you my underwear as a souvenir, but the guy I am going to see will expect me to be wearing underwear when I arrive.”

With that she left and proceeded to her hotel.

Her Hotel
Arcadia checked into her hotel and proceeded to her room where she made herself reasonably comfortable.

About half an hour later she got a text message from Garlick Duckworth asking if she had arrived at her hotel. She replied she was in her hotel and he could attend there immediately.

Before Garlick Duckworth arrived at her hotel room Arcadia Thiessen rang her children said goodnight to them.

About fifteen (15) minutes after her text message to him Arcadia met Garlick in the lobby of the hotel and then they proceeded to her hotel room. Pretty much as soon as they entered the hotel room sexual activity between them commenced. After about half an hour they stopped their sexual encounter, got dressed and went downstairs to the restaurant where they had dinner. The dinner was paid for by the employer of Arcadia Thiessen. During dinner almost all of the conversation from Garlick Duckworth was about him, because he is really only interested in himself. Arcadia did not tell Garlick about her sexual encounter earlier that day with Guinness Chesterfield.

After dinner at the restaurant Arcadia and Garlick returned to her hotel room and recommenced their sexual encounter.

The second sexual encounter with Garlick Duckworth did not last all that long and then Arcadia had a shower and went to sleep. Garlick Duckworth spent the remainder of the night with her in her hotel room. When they awoke the next morning there was another brief sexual encounter. When it ended Arcadia had a shower and got dressed for work. She had a conference to attend in Sydney before returning to Melbourne.

Arcadia Thiessen had ordered room service for breakfast for them both. When breakfast was over she prepared to leave the hotel for the conference. Garlick said he was very keen to see her again. He saw her as an undeniably attractive woman who provided him with very easy sex, as well as free meals whenever she visited. He certainly was not in love with her.

Stiles Parsons was extremely hurt by the revelations made to him about Arcadia. He was tired of being no more than a convenience for her. He knew Arcadia was away from Melbourne on business, so he took the opportunity to send a bunch of flowers to her home whilst she was away. The card attached to the flowers was deliberately ambiguous.

It read, “Thanks for a fantastic time. You really are amazing. I hope we can get together again the next time you are in town.”

Stiles knew the movements of Arcadia well enough to time the delivery of the flowers so that Tabernacle Calderone would see them well before she did.

The Stiles Parsons plan unfolded just as he desired. Tabernacle Calderone saw the flowers and the attached card well before Arcadia arrived home from her Sydney business trip. Tabernacle assumed Arcadia had been having an affair with another man, something he had suspected for quite some time. He photographed the flowers and the card. He kept the card and put it in his guitar case.

Tabernacle then made immediate arrangements to see a solicitor and get advice about separating from and divorcing Arcadia. The solicitor and Tabernacle agreed not to say anything about the divorce to Arcadia or anyone else until all preparations had been completed, which was expected to take about two (2) weeks. On the way home from the solicitors Tabernacle put the flowers in an industrial rubbish bin.

When Arcadia Thiessen arrived home Tabernacle acted as if nothing untoward had happened.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Appetite For Destruction

As he prepared himself for his latest conference, Daniel Soames looked at his clock and realised the conference was due to commence in about ten (10) minutes. He thought conferences between the Accused and his legal representatives shortly before the trial have an amazing ability to concentrate the minds of all concerned on the relevant issues.

Within moments of that thought concluding, Stuart Hemlock arrived with the Accused, Brogan Affleck, for their scheduled conference. Daniel said to them both, “Come in, let us get started.”

After the initial and very brief introductions, Daniel got straight down to business.

Daniel said to Mr Affleck, “I will tell you the case as I understand it and then I will tell you my response to that case. After I have finished, you can ask me any questions you may have about my understanding and my proposed approach. Is that acceptable to you?”
Brogan Affleck answered  “Yes.”

The Offence
Daniel continued “The Crown case is that the relevant occasion was a Friday night and The Complainant, Hamish Doyle, went to the Zulu Bar at the Hacienda Hotel, a venue well-known to be frequented by homosexual men. Mr Affleck, you went to The Gallery upstairs at the Hacienda Hotel to see The Hoodoo Gurus play.

“At the conclusion of The Hoodoo Gurus concert you and two mates left the venue and were milling around outside with many of the other patrons from The Hoodoo Gurus concert. The Complainant and his friends had been discussing whether they would leave the Zulu Bar and go to The Beat, another nightclub not far away.

“Once The Complainant and his friends were on the footpath outside the Zulu Bar, the Complainant was attacked and violently assaulted. It was an unprovoked attack and it occurred in circumstances where he was effectively unable to defend himself. There were a lot of people around, but it happened so fast, no one was able to conclusively say what happened and in what order. You were present, but no one was able to conclusively say precisely what you did. You were certainly a strong suspect as the perpetrator of the attack.

“The injuries to The Complainant were serious, he received a punctured lung. However, medical intervention resulted in him being able to completely recover from the physical aspects of the injury.

“Whatever closed-circuit television cameras were available at the scene, they were not sufficient to conclusively show that you were the offender. Accordingly, the investigating police knew identification was definitely going to be an issue. Police subsequently arrested you and whilst you made no confession, nevertheless you were charged with doing grievous bodily harm to the Complainant.

“The legal representatives you engaged at the committal hearing were not Stuart and I; it was another firm of solicitors and another barrister. After the committal hearing you changed legal representation and consulted the firm that employs Stuart. In turn Stuart briefed me to appear for you at your trial.”

Advice On Prospects
“The identification evidence is pretty thin and there is little other evidence of any significance against you. In the circumstances you have a reasonable chance of being found not guilty of the offence. However, there is evidence upon which the jury can convict and if they find you guilty on that evidence, it will be difficult to argue that the verdict was unsafe and unsatisfactory. So there are good reasons for the Crown to proceed with the prosecution. There are also reasonable grounds for you to want to pursue a trial.”

“Is that a fair summary of the situation in which you find yourself?” Daniel asked Brogan Affleck.
“Yes it is”,  Brogan Affleck replied.
“Do you continue to deny your involvement in the offence?” Daniel asked.
“Yes I do”, responded Brogan Affleck.
“So I take it that you still want to go to trial, that you are not interested in pleading guilty to the offence?”
“That is correct” Brogan Affleck replied.
“Well then, Stuart can take those written instructions from you, as he is so good at doing. We can then wrap this up. I will see you both back here the morning of trial.”

The Trial
During the second day of the trial, in the absence of the jury, the Trial Judge spoke to the Crown Prosecutor and to Daniel.

"Earlier in my career, when I was at the bar, I argued a matter in the Court of Appeal for the Crown. It was similar in many respects to this matter. The appeal by the Accused was allowed on that occasion and the Appeal Judges said to the Court that the particular location in Fortitude Valley where the alleged offence occurred was notorious for violence. It is the same location that is the subject of this trial.” The Judge continued, “It could not be conclusively ruled out that at the same time as an assault was occurring on one corner, another assault was occurring on another corner of that block. That being the case, the Crown could not conclusively prove the identification of the Accused and we shall find him not guilty of the offence with which he has been charged."

The Trial Judge then said to both barristers that the not guilty verdict option was realistically open to the jury to find in this case and he would be leaving that aspect of the defence case to the jury for them to so find; unless the evidence against the Accused improved for the Crown in respect of identification.

At the end of the second day of the trial Brogan Affleck went on his way, leaving Daniel and Stuart to talk amongst themselves. Seizing the opportunity presented by the absence of Mr Affleck, Stuart asked Daniel how he thought the trial was going, to which Daniel replied:

"I think there is a very real chance Mr Affleck will be acquitted. The identification evidence is fairly thin and the aspect of the case the Judge raised earlier in relation to the identification was absolutely possible as an option for the Jury."

Stuart seemed to be both surprised and happy to hear that assessment from Daniel.

At the same time The Complainant Hamish Doyle, his brother Garrick and their sister Elise had a conference with the Crown Prosecutor. Garrick asked the Crown Prosecutor how he thought the trial was going.

The Crown Prosecutor said, “This is not the strongest case I have prosecuted, but I remain confident that the jury will find the Accused guilty when the time comes.”

Garrick then said to the Crown Prosecutor, “I got the impression from the Judge that there is a reasonable chance the Accused will be acquitted, particularly in light of what the Judge said about the identification evidence. What do you say about that?”

“It is certainly open to the jury to take that view of the case” the Crown Prosecutor replied.  “In any event, we are not going to change that situation by talking about those kinds of possibilities now. Unless you have any other questions, I propose to return to my office.”

Hamish, Garrick and Elise Doyle all said they had no further questions and they would see the Prosecutor tomorrow.

With that they all parted company and went their separate ways.

Calling In a Favour
Privately Garrick was a long way from happy with the prospect of the Accused being found not guilty of the assault upon his brother Hamish. As he drove home from court Garrick could not stop thinking about how unfair it would be for the Accused to get away with that assault. He decided to take a slight detour on that journey home via a pub at which he attended semi-regularly. When he arrived at the pub, he proceeded directly to the public bar and noticed his mate Davo sitting alone at a table. There were not many other people drinking in that bar at the time and no one was sitting particularly close to Davo. Garrick ordered an orange juice, collected his drink and walked over to sit at the table with Davo.

After an initial exchange of greetings Garrick said to Davo, in a soft but stern voice, “I want to call in the favour you owe me.”
Davo replied, “Do you really want to have that conversation here, now?”
“Well I have not really got much choice.  Time seems to be a pretty significant factor.”
Davo said, “All right, but not here. Meet me in the car park, near my car, in five minutes.”
“Okay, I will finish my drink and meet you in the car park in five minutes.”

Davo finished the small amount left in his glass and walked out of the public bar to his car in the car park. Garrick took a little longer to finish his drink and then he too left the public bar, but by a different exit to the one Davo used.

Once they were both in the car park standing next to Davo’s car, Davo said to Garrick, “Do you know what you are asking?”
 “Yes” replied Garrick.
“Are you sure you want to do this? Davo asked.
“Yes” said Garrick “I want the guy who assaulted my brother taken out; and I want you to contact the guy you know to take care of it.”

After a short pause Davo said to Garrick, “Once you engage this guy, there is no turning back. You understand that, don’t you?”
“Yes, I understand” said Garrick.
“Do you also understand that you must do everything he tells you or there will be serious trouble for you?” Davo added.
“Yes I understand” Garrick said again.
“OK, you stay here, while I go and telephone him” Davo said to Garrick.
“No problems” Garrick replied.

Davo walked around the car park of the pub to where there was apparently no one around and no one within earshot of his conversation.

About five minutes later Davo returned to his motor vehicle and resumed his conversation with Garrick. “Listen carefully” Davo said, “I do not want to have to repeat any of this.” Garrick nodded his head in agreement.

“You will go immediately to the Astor Hotel on Wickham Terrace in the city. You will book into a room under the name William Maynard. Pay cash, do not use a cheque or credit or any type of card to satisfy the bill. Proceed to the hotel room, put the details of the mark in a yellow A4 sized envelope, along with the fee, which will also be in cash, and leave that sealed envelope on the bed in that hotel room. Do not leave anything else in the hotel room and do not disturb anything within the room. Leave the hotel room, return the room key to reception and do not tell reception that you are checking out. Just let them think you are leaving the key with them for safety reasons, whilst you go elsewhere and do your business. You will have done all of these things by 8:30 pm tonight. Do not return to that hotel. If you follow those instructions, there should be no problems. You will know when the job is done. Is that all clear?”

“Yes that is clear” Garrick said.
“All right, I am going to go now. You might want to wait a few minutes before you leave and it is probably prudent for you to leave via a different exit to me” Davo said to Garrick.
“No problems” he replied.

With that Davo drove out of the pub car park and out of sight. Garrick walked to his car, sat in it for a little while, then drove out of the car park by a different exit to the one Davo used and proceeded home.

Garrick headed straight to his bedroom and the safe in one of his built-in cupboards. He opened the safe and took out a yellow A4 sized envelope containing a significant amount of cash. He also took out a folder containing the details of the accused, Brogan Affleck, including photographs of him, and placed all of that material in the yellow A4 sized envelope along with the cash. He sealed the envelope, placed it in a backpack and returned to his motor vehicle with the backpack. He was familiar with the location of the Astor Hotel, so that presented no problems for him. He drove to the nearby railway station where he caught a train to the city and then a taxi passing by to the Astor Hotel.

Once at the Astor Hotel, he did precisely as Davo had instructed him. After he had checked in as William Maynard, he took himself and his backpack to the room. The bed was located against the far wall in the hotel room and he left the yellow A4 sized envelope containing the details of the mark, the accused, Brogan Affleck, and the cash on the bed, disturbing nothing else in the process. He left the hotel room, taking his backpack with him and returned to reception.

At reception he asked the male attendant, “Could I leave the room key with reception, as I am going out for a while and I do not want to risk losing it?”
“No problems sir” the male reception attendant replied.

Garrick then left the Astor Hotel with his backpack, walked to the City and caught a train to the station where he parked his car. Then he drove home.

Trial - Day Three (3)
The next day Daniel and Stuart met at his Chambers shortly before Court was scheduled to start. They had arranged to have a conference with Brogan Affleck prior to the trial recommencing. However Brogan did not attend the conference. Daniel said that it had got to the stage where it was too late to wait for Mr Affleck and they would need to go to Court immediately. Stuart agreed and went with him. Once they got to Court they did not see Mr Affleck.  The time arrived for the trial to start, so they entered the Court.

Before proceedings recommenced Daniel told the Judge that he did not have the Accused with him and he could not explain why the Accused was not present at Court as required.

The Crown Prosecutor told the Court that he had just received news that the Accused had died overnight. That news was so recent, it had only just been passed on to him by the police. In fact there had not even been time to tell Daniel about that news.

At the end of the proceedings Daniel and Stuart left Court and walked to the Chambers of Daniel, discussing the case. After a brief stop at Chambers, they then decided to go and have morning tea.

Daniel thanked Stuart for the brief and said that he looked forward to working with him again. With their morning tea finished, they went their respective ways.