< back to Sandra's blogDay 795 - Night before the trial

It was rainy and dark in the city this afternoon. Mum, Dianne and I had a 5pm appointment with the prosecution. With serious faces they shuffled paperwork and dropped a couple of bombshells, with about as much emotion as you would use if you were telling someone about the weather. 

The prosecutor read from notes in front of him and told us that Andrea had traces of Oxazepam (Serepax) and Diazepam (Valium) in her blood, in minute quantities. The blood tests are not usable, however, because they were denatured (which means that instead of being in a liquid form; the blood had turned into a paste). They also told us that Andrea had told a doctor in emergency that she takes 1000mg of Morphine each day due to chronic pain from an old sporting injury. Our ears prick up and we glance at each other nervously. We don’t know, but that seems like quite a lot…


The prosecutor casually mentions that we may have to wait up to two months for a verdict! Eyes roll.



He is trying to convict Andrea on the grounds that:


            (a) She was excessively inattentive;




            (b) The morphine she had made her drowsy.

 As he reads from his notes he casually mentions that a nurse told a policeman that she thought she was pregnant, but then she found out she was wrong so there was no baby after all. No baby! I reeled back in shock. I've always empathised with her, but my deep empathy began the day I saw her and learned that she had lost a baby. I mean that empathy inspired my documentary. My grieving process has been so greatly influenced by the loss of her baby. My whole work began partly because of that baby. I was dedicating my film to Dad and that baby. That baby does not exist. That baby never existed!


It's amazing how one statement can alter your life, or your perception of it, but what happens when you learn that a perception-changing sentence is just a collection of incorrect words? Words that you might have carried for your life, words that have shaped the construction of who you are or the way you see things. Maybe you were told that you were fat, ugly, stupid, unwanted, and then you carry those words and they construct who you are. So what happens if they are nothing but a bunch of incorrect words?


 The substance that I’d formed my grief upon has just fallen apart. The words echoed in my head. “There was no baby.” My worst fear is that she is not so innocent, and is very responsible.


Is it better to punish someone or let the consequences of their actions be their punishment? I had a lot of compassion for her because she had lost so much, perhaps more than I lost. Now, without the baby, it means that I lost a whole lot more than she did. I know it's not a competition, but in a way that was her punishment. She had to live with those consequences and her consequences were her punishment. Now it will make me mad if she gets away with no punishment, because it will mean there have been no consequences for her actions.



Written on 14 May 2006
Over 10 years since incident
Tags: trial, morphine, verdict

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