Tuesday, May 29

I'm not living, I'm just killing time. Your tiny hands, your crazy-kitten smile.

My court case is over.

When my Barrister said to me, "When you're on the witness stand, sworn in under oath, you're on your own", I don't think I quite realised just how alone I would feel. It's just awful.
When we adjourned after I had given my evidence, we sat in one of the private consultation rooms, where my Barrister begun to tell me that in his opinion, based on his experience and from what the Judge had been asking me and making notes on, the case was going against me. His opinion was that the Judge was already siding with the other side.
Just two hours into the hearing, with no evidence heard from the defendants yet, and already I was being advised to make an offer to the other side; an offer of 'Hands down'. Meaning I wanted to drop the case, and if they agreed, we would both just walk away gaining nothing, and bearing our own legal costs. So soon, I had to make a decision of whether to continue or not?! My Barrister expressed his concern at this early point that if I choose to continue, and it carries on the way he thinks it's already going, then I'd almost certainly lose the case and be liable to pay the defendant's legal costs, which he estimated at around ten thousand pounds. I was also advised that if I was to make such an offer, they weren't obliged to accept it, and if it were him on the defendant's side, he would see it as a weakness and he would advise his client to push on and go for broke.
I decided to continue.
The defence were awful when they gave their evidence. I think she'd watched far too much Ally McBeal, because when she was being cross-examined, she didn't answer the direct question...instead she would answer in a round-a-bout way, as if she was giving the answer she thought she would show her in the best light. It didn't work. And it made her look like a fool. She was also caught out on some details, when she kept changing her mind, then saying she couldn't remember. The Judge was clearly bemused and shocked by some of the things he was hearing.
I felt much better at this point, although I was still noticeably nervous and shaking.
Following the defence evidence, the Judge then said a few more things, then made another adjournment. It was during this break that I was given another decision to make. By this time, most of the afternoon had been taken up with the defence evidence. Something that should have took a little longer than an hour, but ended up being well over three. And as time was getting on, it was looking more and more likely that the case wouldn't be fully heard by the end of the day. So, I was looking at a third day in court to hear this fucking case. A third day!
A third day would mean having to wait another....two or three months for a court date, in the meantime still having to pay my Solicitor for 'prep work'. And then there's another days cost for the Barrister and another day of court costs.
Back in one of the consultation rooms, my Barrister was advising me to make an offer to end the case. His opinion, was that if I continued, even though he felt the Judge was now on my side, the matter of damage and missing furniture hadn't been touched on yet, and he felt it was an extremely difficult task to convince the Judge that the Lettings Agency could be held accountable for this. It was his opinion, that the damage and furniture side of the case was looking highly un-winnable, and I should therefore put an offer to the other side. And then there was the issue of legal costs. By making an offer to the other side, I couldn't have asked for my costs to be reimbursed by them. And if I'd have continued, again, it was advised to me that as I was very unlikely to win the case in it's entirety, the amount that may have been awarded would fall under the 'Small Claims Court System', and therefore the other side would them be able to make a claim from me for extensive costs that would have been deemed unnecessary.
So, I made them an offer, which was basically about 15% of what I was suing them for in total. And there was nothing that I could say about any legal costs. If they accepted the offer, the case would be over and I would win a 'nominal' amount, but we would bare our own legal costs. In effect, that means it's cost me well over ten thousand pounds in legal costs to get 10% of that out of them.
What a complete waste of almost two years of my life.
Almost two years of stress and pressure, crippling legal bills and the inability to relax...and for what?

My Barrister kept telling me that by the other side accepting the offer, it meant that I'd won.
I don't feel like I've won anything.

Tuesday, May 22

This storm it came up strong. It shook the trees, and blew away our fear. I couldn't even hear.

I'm having a really difficult time at the moment.
But my camouflage is proving successful.
I'm finding it difficult to get a decent nights sleep, tossing and turning. Turning and tossing. I'm often drag myself out of bed, feeling like I've slept in a ditch.

Guilty. Guilty, Guilty.
I can't help feeling so terribly guilty.

On top of that, I've found out today that my case is finally being heard next week. There's no chance of it being adjourned again. This is it.
I'm shitting myself.