“Your honour…” he told the courtroom
“The toddler was running towards me in terror. His mother was attrocious – an utter wildebeast of a woman!
“I’d seen them several occasions at the library. She was always shouting at him to shut up and stop crying – but I simply don’t blame the child for crying when faced with that every day.”
“She would give him bottles of cola and sweets to shut him down for 5 minutes but it would start up again.”
“Since learning to walk he was trying to escape – and you could see the fear in this poor boy’s eyes. You could see the anguish, frustration and anger of having to please that tyrant for another 16 years. Anything was better.”
“We treat children and babies as dumb and stupid in our culture. But they know. OH BOY, do they know. They know what’s good for them. They know what’s toxic. They are wise and instinctual and in tune with their bodies, emotions and surroundings. Most unlike us adults who are self-conscious and emotionally constipated.”
“So yes… I took him.”
“The mother couldn’t catch up with my running because she smoked 40 fags a day. But let me tell you what we did. We went to the park, the sandpit, the river, the zoo and we had the most magnificent day out! I’d never seen that boy happier. He fed the goats. He talked to the lemurs. He pretended to be a pirate on his ship. He’s an extraordinarily creative and clever boy.”
“He’d always wailed and wailed because he knew there was something better and I simply listened to his need.”
“Now I know I’m making you uncomfortable in your chair and the jury box. You’re shifting and shuffling and muffling your ears. How dare he steal a child? How dare he take someone’s little baby and let it be free!? you rage in indignation.
“You caught me red-handed and I’m as guilty as charged.”
“But let me tell you, if giving a child a slice of happiness in this barbaric hostile world is a crime – then lock me up and throw away the key.”
“If you want to give me a fine. Then fine.”
“But whatever you do – don’t give me community service. Because I’ve already done it for you.”