As the weeks turned into months both lawyers batted the case back and forth until Richard then went to the courts to let them decide. Both parties had to appear before Newcastle Crown Court on the 14th November and they were ordered to bring Dawn with them.
It would be Dawns seventh birthday two days after that and she was not looking forward to going.’
“Doreen and Gordon tried to keep dawn as calm as possible and carried on as normally as they could.’ The day before they were due in court for the hearing Gordon took them out for the day to amble where they walked to the harbour where there was a small market they let Dawn buy what she wanted then sat outside in the sunshine eating fish and chips. They never brought up the subject of the case that day even though they both knew that tomorrow was going to be a traumatic experience for both Dawn and them. Dawn fed the seagulls with the remainder of her fish and chips then they got into the car and drove back home. That evening neither Dawn or her parents slept a wink.
The morning of the hearing was very sombre in the Hart household. They ate breakfast in virtual silence before getting into the car and driving to the court.
“Ralph Mason met them in the corridor and told them not to worry. “ This is not a trial Dawn’ it is only a hearing to try to reach some common ground.’
Further down the press were taking pictures of Jim Gales as he arrived in court wearing a flared pair of trousers blue velvet jacket and a flowered patterned shirt?’
He was wearing black platform boots.’
“What is the press doing here asked Gordon?’
“Don’t you know that Dawn’s father is Jim Gales?’
“Who is he?’
“He is a singer song writer. He was with The Dune Tunes in the late fifties early sixties.’
“Does that make a difference to this case?’
“Yes, a great deal I’m afraid; he has money Gordon and if a trial is called for then we will have a long legal battle on our hands. “ You may have to end up selling your house to pay for the trial.’
“How can they make us do that when we legally adopted Dawn?’
“Because he is saying that he was only fifteen when Dawn was born and that he could not face the responsibility of looking after a baby at that time. Now that he is older he says that he is now ready to be a father to his daughter.’
“This is great said Gordon; they are going to drag this through the courts and the papers are going to have a field day with this story.’
When they were called they led Dawn through the side door and sat at the table. Dawn looked across at her real father; she had heard of The Dune Tunes and had remembered singing along to one of his songs. Jim was now clean shaven and his hair had been trimmed he wore dark glasses and had gold rings on his fingers and an expensive gold watch. Round his neck was a heavy gold cross and chain.
They all stood a Judge Michael Douglas presided.
“Please sit said the judge. Today we are here only to establish the visitation rights of Mr John James Gales and his daughter Dawn. May I remind you that this is not a trial and that I will not tolerate shouting in my courtroom?’