The stress of the last few weeks was written all over Janice Villeverdes face as she sat in the courtroom waiting to be summoned. Andrew Cherry QC arrived late he had presided over another case in court number four.
“Sorry I’m late said the larger than life character that was standing in front of her.
“Now Mrs Villeverde you have everything in your favour; firstly you are the child’s mother. Secondly you have brought this child up for almost four years without assistance from George Barrett. So the Judge will see that. Today you are not on trial so let me do the talking unless the judge asks to speak with you address him as your honour, understood?
“Yes sir I do.’
Barrett versus Villeverde in court number five please shouted the usher and Andrew Cherry placed his black spectacles on his nose; which complimented his rounded features.
Inside the courtroom were Miriam, Thomas, and her parents who had come to support her friend.
On the other table was George Barrett stood with Mr Warrick Hughes QC.
“All stand, Judge Edward Wilson presiding.’
The judge dressed in his red robe and wig looked down upon Janice who was dressed in a blue pencil skirt and box jacket. Jackie was sat at the table happily playing with his car that his brothers had bought him.
“Mrs Villeverde,’ would you give your full name for this court.’
“Janice Villeverde your worship.”
“You are the boy named as Jackie’s mother correct?
“That is correct M’ lord answered Janice.’
“It is alleged that you are an unfit mother and that custody of this child should reside with his father Mr George Barrett.
“No M’ lord this is not the case and will prove that Mr Barrett has had no involvement with this child since birth.
“You may sit Miss Villeverde.
“Mr Barrett, please give your full name for this court.”
George William Barrett M’lord.’
“You claim that Miss Villaverde is an unfit mother on what grounds?
“We will prove that Miss Villeverde is indeed a drunkard who cannot look after her own children
She has been seen going to the off licence and buying bottles of gin.”
“Is this correct Miss Villeverde?
“No further questions.”
The judge sat back in his seat then after a few minutes to deliberate announced that a trail would take place one week from now.