The sad case of Mrs A – in recent days has moved your correspondent to write, not in the hope of putting anything right, such aspirations are stillborn, but to do little more than vent the spleen of one who is bemused by the insufficiency of those descendants of Sir Robert’s crusaders in carrying out their duty.
Mrs A – has, for many, many years suffered from a debility. I should know for she is my sister. Her condition has many names but is perhaps best referred to as an incapacity of the mind. It is a serious frailty, the consequences of which leave the sufferer exposed to all kinds of exploitation, cruelty, wrongdoing and malpractice. She has for some forty years been the victim of that part of Society’s underbelly we all know exists but would rather neither contemplate nor encounter.
In her life she has bidden farewell to three children, taken from her in their infancy, all on account of her dubious maternal ability. Moreover, she has been separated from more life-partners through addiction to alcohol, weakness of the heart, mental instability and sundry other conditions than is desirable or than has been good for her. Life has not been kind and her addiction to substances chemical as well as natural have left her yet more vulnerable.
I received word, a few days ago, that Mrs A - had been expelled from her own property by one of those previously referred to members of Society’s darker recesses. Unjust, unfair and unworthy. I undertook to try and right this wrong at the very least, though there is little I can do to mitigate the results of the debility itself. I attended, with Mrs A – the office of the local constabulary in a region of London, which I will not name, but which lies not so very far from where, according to some sources, Dick Turpin began his legendary, though fictional, journey to York and where his accomplice, Tom King, finally met his end.
Expulsion from home we were informed is a civil matter. The responsibility for laying siege to the castle was not one the upright organs of law enforcement were prepared to assume. Astonished by the laissez-faire attitude, I probed a bit more deeply. “Perhaps, the debility might make a difference?” A wry shake of the head ensued. “I’m sorry sir. It’s a domestic. Not one for us.” “Yet the wrongdoer is of an untrustworthy and sometimes violent disposition.” I ventured. “There are other agencies which are better placed, sir. Social Services perhaps. Your family solicitor. The citizens advice bureau.”
I am not a strident man. I do not shout, nor rail, outwardly at least, at injustice. I found my feet taking obstinate root and my voice assuming slightly more edge than is usually the case. I observed that a vulnerable person might become more vulnerable alone and without shelter on the streets of London at night. I may have leant heavily on the evidence of recent cases of a similar nature and their tragic outcomes. Whatever the provocation, the constable, no more than a civilian in blue regimentals I believe, relented and agreed that constables should attend the property and an arrangement was made for a rendez-vous. Mrs A – and I were instructed to await their arrival and together we would essay re-domesticisation.
We attended as instructed. An hour passed. A further hour. And one hour more. Every hour we were told that someone would shortly be with us. After the fourth hour the word came that the incident had been downgraded. Phoebus’s last rays were dropping behind the horizon and Diana was drawing her luminescence around her when we received further word that action in the affair was unlikely to proceed that night as many a nefarious deed was likely to be undertaken.
With heavy hearts we homeward sped, me to mine and she to her aged parent’s abode, both vowing to see the endeavor through next morning. Before returning however, I once again attended the office of the constabulary. Having retold the tale, I was offered the same wry smile and a regretful “It’s the cuts, sir, you see. Blame the cuts.”
And this, dear reader, is where matters took a very curious turn. Addressing the problem squarely by the horns and having managed to get the Felonious One to agree to an encounter, a parley if you will, the next morning, I retired to my bed full of hope that the difficulties could be circumvented and the incident consigned to eternal register of history.
At midnight, however, word arrived from the constabulary that they were desirous of talking to me forthwith. I made immediate contact only to be told that further communication would happen the next morning at half past the hour of seven. I took once more to my bed to be woken on innumerable occasions by messages from the Felonious One inveighing and fulminating against Mrs A -, her aged parent, her long deceased parent and myself and mine. Nevertheless the agreement to meet stood.
The hour of seven came as did the hours of eight and nine and nary a word from the officers of the law. I attended the pre-arranged place of meeting with the Felonious One only to receive word that he would not come and were I to attend him at the property belonging to Mrs A – I should go in fear of my eyes, which he said he would decimate, cut and stab; of my health, for he had noxious gases which he would cause me to ingest; and ultimately of my life.
Returning once more to the offices of the law I was received with kindness and seriousness and my tale was told in full. Yet, dear reader, the strange part of the business is that of the four people who listened to my tale each advocated a different course of action to provide remedy. After some two hours in their presence, however, agreement was reached I was finally informed that the Felonious One would be apprehended on a charge of criminal damage, he having broken and changed the locks, and then the threats to life and limb would be further addressed subsequent to his apprehension. I was instructed not to attend further and return home and wait for word.
This I did, content in the knowledge that I had carried out both my civil and fraternal duties as expectation would demand. I waited for word.
When it came it was of the most peculiar sort. A constable attending the property could find no grounds on which to apprehend the Felonious One, despite the instruction of his seniors. He requested that I describe the damage that had been done. I could not furnish him with such detail as I myself had not attended the property. “Then, sir, I will not arrest him”. And that would have been the end except, not very long afterwards I received further communication from those upright, honest and brave members of the law enforcement equipage asking me what was happening. I could not tell them. “Well, sir, if you don’t know, I’m sure we do not.”
And that is how it was left with me shaking my head in wonderment. Mrs A – has returned and been accepted back into the house pro tem, the Felonious One having imbibed too copiously I believe, to resist her claims further. My life is still under threat – or at least that is my presumption.
The incidents to which my tale relate occurred on the eighth, ninth and tenth days of October in the year 2012.