It was not – as many of the people who later gave witness statements for the prosecution attested – as straightforward an event as it first seemed. This is especially true when you consider that the prosecution’s lead witness was not only unsighted for most of the time the alleged incident was taking place, this witness was also a grey squirrel; a species notorious for their willingness to attempt to subvert the course of justice in return for a handful of nuts and some tail-care beauty products.
Not only that, the CCTV was – as in so many cases of this nature - both ambiguous and of a quality so poor that even the TV news programmes preferred to use reconstructions of the alleged incident, rather than rely on footage that would only otherwise be suitable for use by a top-flight director for a prestige prize-winning drama series on late-night BBC4 with an audience numbered in the tens.
What is more, the accused when she appeared in the witness box, was – to the complete surprise of the jury – young, attractive (but not too attractive for the female jurors to take an instant dislike to her) and from a respectable family and post code. She was therefore – despite what the evidence said – obviously not guilty, and already had the incipient book-deal with a reputable publisher of celebrity biographies that would not only prove her innocence, but also expose corruption in the police investigation, the MPs involved in drafting the law she was alleged to have broken as well as the shady involvement of some rogue elements of the secret service of one of this country’s most trusted allies.
So, in the end it was no wonder the judge – after an hour-long meeting in his chamber with the accused that left him hot and sweaty under his wig and his robes strangely askew – acquitted her of all charges and allowed her to walk free from the court without a stain on her character, but with only a small one on her skirt.