Wednesday, October 10, 2018


STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF MARK LUNDY

I have spoken briefly with Mr Lundy and outlined the 395 paragraph Court of Appeal decision dismissing his appeal against conviction.  He now has a copy of the decision.

He is, of course, very disappointed at the outcome of the appeal.  Mr Lundy has long argued that for whatever reason his case has become the testing grounds for novel science.  It was the novel use of the IHC that lead to a successful appeal against conviction before the Privy Council back in 2013 and it was novel use of the mRNA evidence that was the primary focus of the 2017 appeal. The Court of Appeal has found that the mRNA evidence was wrongly admitted at his 2016 retrial.

The Court of Appeal have applied the proviso.  It was only after the appeal was heard that the Crown confirmed that it would seek to rely on the proviso if its primary argument as to admissibility of the mRNA evidence was rejected.    In a lengthy decision the Court of Appeal have concluded that notwithstanding the wrongful admission of evidence that was so strenuously contested both before trial and at trial, that allowing that evidence to be considered and accepted by the jury, has not given rise to a substantial miscarriage of justice and did not make the trial unfair. 

That decision raises important issues and is inevitably one that Mr Lundy will ask the Supreme Court to review. 

In those circumstances any further comment on behalf of Mr Lundy is not appropriate.



JHM Eaton QC
Counsel for Mr Lundy
9 October 2018

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Propensity evidence in the Watson case is bull dust.

Dead case walking:

Propensity evidence is an argument as to something a person is likely to do, mainly because he or she are said to have done so before, spoken about, or displayed the character to do so. When a case has no evidence, the Crown, if pig-headed and intent of prosecuting, might embark on seeking from the Court to admit propensity evidence. That's what happened in Scott Watson's case. There were no violence convictions of prior offending for police use. So they invented some. They did that in various ways but all to the same point - that the jury, if they had any doubts about Watson's guilt, could reflect on things he allegedly did or said to a number of people - who it is now clear could be leaned on, or given 'favours,' or because overall Scott was a bastard wanted for an unsolved alleged murder on Great Barrier Island, who had to be stopped.

Somehow the Judge allowed that evidence, after first ruling it as too dangerous to be admissible. Evidence, which when the Judge 'changed his mind' could have made the Jury feel that Scott was the likely killer because of that material which in totality was not actual evidence but rather allegations that were never proven, 'statements' for which there is no material proof had ever been said and which were not revealed by witnesses at first call. The totality of such, never proven as true or beyond reasonable doubt testimony, would have been unsettling to the juror's minds particularly for those with a belief that police are always right. Scott Watson was being 'tried' for things that could not be proven true but which the Crown was allowed to use to prove a case for which they had minimal, really no evidence. It's a lot to think about in a tight situation, taking objective focus away from the reality that there was no proof of Ben and Olivia ever going aboard the Watson boat or even being in his company. There's remains a strong (and hidden until now) argument about which boat the couple boarded despite a parcel of strong evidence put together over 2 decades - in reality the 'propensity evidence' is a fragile connection between alleged random events linked by alleged talk regarding alleged evidence for which there is no confirmation.

The Crown didn't have proof of death, the Crown didn't have Watson and the couple at any point together, also the further weakness of his being dropped off to his boat alone at the end of a long night with sunrise less than hours away. Nothing found on Watson's boat provided any proof of the couple being there other than speculation. So the argument for propensity evidence also relied on a lack of physical evidence critical to its integrity. That is the pattern of the evidence in this case - a lack of evidence and unsubstantiated talk to fill gaps. Boats shrunk and grew in size, changed colour and number of masts. Sequences of events alleged by the Crown were not linked together, the investigation was not thorough because a target had already been identified from which point all other leads were ignored. Not one question raised from either the Tam team, Police Headquarters or indeed the Crown - no one willing to 'say we never properly investigated this case - we fixed on one potential suspect and completely ignored the rest.' That investigative conduct was somehow permissible, as it is now. That will change in whatever way Scott's current Royal Prerogative of Mercy appeal is settled because a question for the reviewer, and this Government, is whether lack of evidence in continuity is actually evidence at all. Time is going to show that it is not, and this case against Scott Watson will fall in the disgusting heap it has always been.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Watson convictions failed.

I have good reason to believe the Watson convictions are dead in the water. To some extent I can offer an insiders point of view as to why the convictions are unlikely to be able to be sustained. A year ago the foremost reason would have been the failure of the forensic procedures used to 'recover' the 2 hairs, and later to distinguish whether, as offered by the Crown, they even belong to the missing teenager Olivia Hope. The doubts are beyond reasonable that first of all the 2 hairs came off Watson's boat (they were never seen or photographed their in a thorough forensic examination by scientists), then secondly and more importantly, that they were even Olivia's hair. There were approved standards for the recovery and examination of questioned hair from crime scenes, and sample hairs from other sources - everyone was broken in this case and what followed was a now discredit hair analysis 'system' whereby a 'trained' scientist uses extraordinary (and hoax) comparisons of the questioned hair and sample hairs. Such methods resulted in a 98% failure rate of convictions in the USA which used similar systems. In short no one has that infallible ability to compare hair so finely that can be relied upon as evidence - it is subjective trickery, a tool of the devil.

There are other devils in this case a few of which are discussed here.

Propensity evidence: Loosely described as a defendant who has an alleged propensity to commit a certain type of crime. In Watson we had a number of people who claimed that Scott had spoken about killing women or indeed confessed to doing so. The problem with that evidence is that the witnesses didn't say such things at the outset but developed their opinions over a number of police interviews as other hard evidence couldn't be found. Scott now has one man who was offered his freedom if he would agree that he was a drinking buddy of Scott's and who heard Scott make such claims. We'll call this guy Rambo. Rambo was made angry by the suggestion and told the police officer what he thought of him, which wasn't much. Rambo kept notes of the conversation and we now know the reason why the statement written out for Rambo wasn't signed. So not a single witness who wasn't bribed, bullied or cajoled to tell lies about SW's so called hidden violent tendencies.

The 2-trip theory: The secret trip Scott is alleged to have taken back to shore after being delivered to his own boat alone.  This evidence was dropped on the Jury after the close of evidence by now High Court Judge Paul Davison, the same man who prosecuted the innocent Teina Pora. A man who told the Jury that a positive sighting of a ketch by an excellent witness O Malley, a helicopter pilot, was not backed up by anyone else on the boat - when indeed the skipper of the boat had confirmed the sighting but was never called to give evidence. So that unconfirmed 2nd trip has been a topic of conversation for 2 decades. Now however, Scott has proof that police looked for evidence of the 2nd trip as early as January 98 and for the next 18 months to trial found none, in fact still have none now - the very reason Davison could call evidence to back up his claim.

Possibly the 3rd heading for now could be ketch sightings and the mystery man. Both of which police said never existed - everyone dreamed it up or were mistaken. This allowed the police to move from a two masted sailing ketch to a Watson's small sloop and indeed to a man who was on his boat alone and vulnerable to allegations by paid witnesses and those with torches held to their feet. The police aided this enterprise by deleting evidence, 100s of time. This is not conjecture but something that has been proved. Overall however, do not forget if there was no mystery ketch or no mystery man, the ketch and the man that scores of people saw should have been discounted from this inquiry 20 years ago. Remember that there is a list of over 60 people who more than likely saw the ketch, some even touched it, or rowed around it in appreciation of it's fine style.

As for those deletions it is now proven that they didn't only happen with statements and reports but also with the Photo File. Photos of the ketch are missing. The forensic file was tampered with, witness statements were tampered with and so was the Photo file. The proof is at hand, I and others have seen it - the majority of it is with this Government with more to come.

Corrupted file, corrupted witness statements and evidence, tampered with forensic evidence, photographic and video evidence negates the Watson convictions as does the fact that there is absolutely no proof, and never will be, that Scott did not go back to his boat alone, and the same absolute proof that the missing couple Ben and Olivia were never on the Blade, let alone aboard it in a raft up off three boats with nearly a dozen people aboard. That's the facts, or just a few them from a vast file defending Scott Watson. Watch this space.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Teina Pora: what the authorities ignore.

My opinion is that the police who interviewed Teina Pora have been cut too much slack. I recall reading in the recent book on the Pora case Tim McKinnel commenting how the video tapes of the police interviews of Pora lack continuity. In other words, when the tapes stopped they resumed at a different point. From last nights movie on TV1 we also learnt that in the Pora case there were 100s of deletions from the file. That file was 'groomed' by police perhaps at the behest of the prosecutor - now High Court Judge Paul Davison. Why would I say that, because I know from personal experience the same thing happened in the Watson case. The assistant prosecutor Crutchley asked for a report just before the trial, the report was deleted but plenty material remains to show what material was deleted, evidence helpful to Scott Watson. And yes Judge Paul Davison was lead prosecution in the Watson case as well.

I've read reports in recent years where evidence held on file and fought not to be released in civil cases has been reviewed by the Judge as to its relevance. But our criminal courts have no objections to deletions, bringing no reason why ex prosecutors like Davison and Crutchley should ever have been concerned about culpability for hiding evidence - as we know happened in the Bain and Pora cases, and which I now know happened in Watson. The Courts don't care, the legislators don't care and meanwhile New Zealand 'punches above its weight' in miscarriages of Justice.

We are in the electronic age. Each inquiry already gets a number - that number can become the electronic file which can be protected from being meddled with or deleted by having everything backed up automatically in a master system. That way Dr Teoh's comments as to the matter found on Lundy's shirt as being poorly preserved and something which no man should be convicted upon would have been known to the Lundy defence at the outset and not a decade later. That may have also deterred those that took advantage of it being hidden to offer false testimony at the Lundy trial. Similarly Milton Weir would not have sat listening to evidence in the Bain trial of the glasses, central to that case, belonging to David when in fact they were his mothers - as he truthfully told police. There are many more critical examples in the Watson file now before the Government including one report totally gone that would never have been hidden or deleted because counsel for the defence would have had them on hand even before the committal to trial hearings if the file was treated, as it should be, as sacrosanct.

What we have heard about in Pora was not unique to that case alone, but arguably every miscarriage of Justice in New Zealand, including Watson, Lundy and Tamihere which are yet to be resolved. Tamihere is an interesting example - we have a primary Crown witness convicted of perjury and a second being searched for by ......wait for this, not police but a prison inmate, Arthur Taylor to bring that secret witness to Justice. If that isn't odd enough then consider once a trial is wrecked by perjury (the adage that perjury strikes fatally had the heart of Justice applies here) why does David Tamihere need to push the cart to be exonerated. It was the Crown's blinking witness yet they sit on their hands, there is nothing stopping the Crown stepping in and finding the secret witness from that case who has fled, or applying for the Tamihere convictions to be set aside. In a democracy  the onus is on the Crown and police where they have willingly taken part in a miscarriage of Justice to put it right - not falling on a 60 something year old pensioner who was only released from life imprisonment because of poor health.

I was a little disappointed by the Pora movie, it was a dark movie and many will say that so it should have been. However, what about the celebration of the efforts of McKinnel, Jonathan Krebs and the redoubtable Ingrid Squire - as in the past we have seen Joe Karam and back in the 70s Pat Booth, Peter Williams along with many others. Indeed Pora himself who stepped out of prison and forgave those that had falsely imprisoned him. Instead we saw a sulking portrayal of Malcolm Rewa who many know was protected by some police allowing him to continue his attacks on women. The story isn't about Rewa it's about his enablers the police, and the enablers that allowed the evidence of a doctored video to be entered as evidence.

A big plus for me was learning something about Teina's parole which I didn't know about before. Assuming that it was accurate who could help be uplifted by the speech of Ingrid Squire to the parole board that relented and let Teina go before he would eventually be exonerated. I knew little about Ingrid Squire until last night but she is one powerful person, telling the parole board that the Pora convictions were the worst case of a miscarriage of Justice in the history of this country - what a shout out to 3 tired old folk sitting on their haunches with a claim that their's was not to judge the safety of a conviction. I ask now, why not - we've had enough false convictions for the board not to bury their heads in the sand as they did with Scott Watson nearly 2 years ago sending him away for 4 years after a retrospective change of the Law extending up to 5 years as the limit between parole board appearances - and why did that happen to Scott, for the same reason Ingrid Squire's argued against - that innocent men or women should not be forced to admit guilt in order to be released from prison.

We've got a lot wrong and some of the things are so easy to fix, yet we have men and women  falsely imprisoned for decades with only themselves fighting against the state for their freedom. The state is not meant to be the enemy of the people but rather the protector of the truth. There is no excuse for believing mutterings from a new police commissioner talking about what police have learnt since the last news break on a major miscarriage of Justice. When the Pora or Lundy cases happen, indeed that or Tamihere as well, where malfeasance is exposed - heads must roll and the wrongfully convicted assisted by the powers that falsely imprisoned them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Lundy case still plagued by hoax science.

https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/crime/scientist-in-mark-lundy-trial-obtained-research-brain-against-the-rules/

The article above highlights the procedures relied upon to gain the Lundy convictions. 'Bucket brain' sounds bad enough, but the other issue is lack of paperwork and raises the question as to why this was not considered at the retrial. Dr Miller is by the way not a forensic scientist but rather a IHC practitioner who test known tissue for disease. IHC has never been used as a forensic scientist before or since the Lundy trial although it was touted as something that would be developed into a forensic science to no avail.

When using novel science the least that should be expected is fully recorded documentation not body parts passed on in buckets without detail. A key issue with the alleged brain matter on Lundy's shirt was it's preservation. Brain degrades quickly outside the body, in fact brain used for research is generally 'fixed' by pumping formaldehyde through the brain before removal. All the specialists noting the Lundy shirt at the beginning of the case agreed the matter on the shirt, whatever it was, was degraded. In fact NZ specialists refused to test it such was it's condition. Now even the American specialist Rodney Miller is not taking calls on the subject. Thus leaving the most objective comments to come from Miller's homeland from Dr Bennett Omalu, a forensic pathologist and neuropathologist who firstly says 'the case is a travesty of justice' and later 'IT IS BULLSHIT.'

I agree for a whole lot of reasons not mentioned in the article, not excluding the use of stolen body parts - converted for a use for which there was no consent or forensic safety chain, just as there had been no forensic safety chain for the safe custody of the shirt, no proper storage and no attention to the obvious degradation of the material - which some experts described as gunk and in which (by the Crown's own goal) it was determined there was animal DNA found - indicating the spots may have been spilt food. Dr Omalu points out the lack of other evidence incriminating Mark. We can go a bit further because there was evidence of strangers being in the house and DNA found under the fingernails of Christine and her daughter identified as coming from 2 unidentified males. There were also numerous fibres and hairs found on Christine's hands none of which matched any clothing of Marks.

I wrote a couple of years ago that it was time to let Mark Lundy go, the bucket in the brain and the 'BULLSHIT' science as quoted by Dr Omalu underlines that point, as does Dr Miller's sudden silence.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Roberto Conchie Harris - tells us what many didn't know.

There has been some outrage at the naming on the infamous witness C today as Roberto Conchie Harris, double murderer and long term prison inmate. For some it will seem like the 'scales' have fallen from their eyes, that they suddenly understand about secret prison witnesses or snitches as another name for informers becomes more fashionable.

But it is not only against Harris that outrage should be placed, he merely climbed aboard the train that came calling for him. A train driven by police sent to collect the witness who would resolved a high profile double murder case. In fact they didn't move Harris but rather his later victim David Tamihere from one prisoner to another to be near Bob and be gifted 20 years in prison for crimes that it increasingly appears he did not commit. Bob Harris, 1 of 3 secret witnesses, in the Tamihere case ultimately gained early parole. I am unsure about the gains the other 2 witnesses 1 of whom is dead made from false testimony against Tamihere, but it can be taken from their names being suppressed, and the fact all 3 secret witnesses told conflicting details that the police didn't want the public or Jury to know who was aboard their train.

Today the public were told that Tamihere's case was not the only one inflicted by secret witnesses, also the controversial Mark Lundy case (which awaits a Court of Appeal decision), and that of Scott Watson who currently appeals his convictions under the Royal Prerogative of Mercy. 3 controversial cases all with secret witness involved, 2 with absolutely dodgy forensic science with the third having no reliable forensic science at all. Every criminal case requires a solid spike in the ground but these 3 cases have none. Once there was said to be evidence of brain material on Lundy's shirt, now there is none, Watson, now a 20 year old case - had 2-hairs as the forensic proof that with just $15,000 spent on a forensic update indicates that the 2-hairs have no probative value, who the hairs belonged to and where they came from is suddenly unknown, in Tamihere a key witness is now convicted of perjury for lying in the Tamihere trial.

None of these are stakes in the ground, they are the house on the shore built upon sand, held together by secret people guilty of horrific crimes as bad or worse than that of which they accuse Tamihere, Watson, or Lundy. Justice has been sold out and replaced with a lottery, crooks selling a story to convict another person in order to gain their freedom early, money, advantages. How can they possibly be trusted and why are their good names hidden, only to allow them to continue on in their employment of committing crime and getting concessions from the Crown to help convict the innocent.

Bob Harris is a person whose identity was hidden for 30 years, the arguments for his name to be suppressed centred around the alleged need to protect such people in order that others like them may come forward. That argument is entirely suspect because it appears the only thing that was protected was the police's ability to convict the innocent. Bob Harris's name being kept secret meant the Jury or the public didn't know who the person telling lies against David Tamihere really was. We know now it was somebody not sickened by the alleged Tamihere confession, but someone looking to gain something using lies and deceit, and whose own crimes were at least as bad or worse than that which he  falsely accused Tamihere - we also now know he was lying.

There was absolutely nothing gained by the protection and rewards given to Bob Harris, no public good came from it only a lot of public harm - now revealed in its true horror. Not 1 witness lied against David Tamihere but 3, one can almost imagine the late detective John Hughes snickering about the coup he pulled off in sending the innocent Tamihere to prison, as he had earlier assisted with Arthur Thomas and other innocent men losing years of their lives.

David's son was only a child when the watch allegedly belonging to one of the missing tourists was found in his room, and when the whole country would pause in horror at the prospect of a father gifting his son the watch of a dead man he killed. A watch without even a hint of forensic proof was planted, indeed when Urban Hoglin's body was found buried on land, (not dumped at sea at Harris claimed), his watch was intact upon his risk. Hoglin had not been killed and been robbed as the finding of the watch revealed. Even then our Court of Appeal fiddled with the appeal and dismissed arguments that the finding of the body showed that Harris had lied, the Court preferred the proposition that it was Tamihere that lied to Harris - a distortion of the truth that will always blackened the Court of Appeal of that era. The Court did not have the courage to demonstrate outrage against a case that had clearly been orchestrated by police dealing using informers and planting evidence, they took the line that it was a necessary part of the legal process. History has shown the exact despicable process that allows the use of such witnesses and their protection, they are rewarded  by both police and the Justice system - they are even released from prison early as if they have done a civic service.

Years earlier 2 other young boys were be impacted by the Tamihere case, having returned home from school to find their mother and her partner dead they would be unaware that they too had stepped into a police trap - because Harris the killer of their mother would be out of prison in less than a decade for assisting in the Tamihere convictions. Released only to reoffend. Consider Watson and Lundy both arguably falsely convicted on double murder - one having been in prison for 20 years and the other only a couple of years less during which time Harris had managed to get himself released twice for double murders which he does not deny. How are these cases all connected? Police targeting the innocent and when finding no evidence paying prisoners to fabricate stories. This didn't happen with Mark Lundy at the outset, only after the forensic science fell apart before his retrial - but with Watson from the outset when no evidence could be found of Scott Watson ever having even met the missing couple. Justice NZ style. All the while our Courts kept their heads in the sand paying homage to a 'civic service' that has corrupted the NZ Judicial process into a distortion of the truth.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

My Friend Daniel


                                                            My Friend Daniel


My friend Daniel’s face is black. If you ever meet Daniel you might not know that his heart was operated on before he was eight. It was sliced and chopped, turned inside out so he could see himself strangled and stripped. No warmth came with the sun on any day for Daniel. He had no corner or place of his own away from unwanted hands. No one respected or cared for Daniel when he was a child. He tried to hide his young body from the rough hands of his stepfather and the others   , tried until there was no trying left and he ran away. He ran and ran before he realised he had nowhere to go.
He ran past people in the street carrying the fear in his head until he reached the train station. where the trains went either north or south.
            At the station he expected to be caught any minute. He thought his foster father or step brothers would arrive, even the police to take him home – a runaway boy with dirty knees and a runny nose. The first train to stop was heading south. He was caught before he realised. The conductor put him off two stations further south. They kept him in the ticket office until the police came but Daniel wouldn’t say his name, or where he came from. He couldn’t tell them any kind of truth because he was ashamed. He didn’t even know the words, the proper way to say it.
            They didn’t talk to the police in his adopted home. He was living by their rules, the stealing and pinching and never saying anything. After another 3 days in a boy’s home they dropped him back at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Henri was drinking in the garage.
            “You back boy,” he said.
            The mother bashed his head against the door frame; she got angry with him for bleeding. That’s a life, getting strangled and stripped, having your head sticking to the mattress with blood. Daniel had heavy hands. He could knock a boy down 1 or 2 years older but he couldn’t fight a man. Daniel has tattoos; one a poorly shaped heart. When I met Daniel his feet easily walked where there was danger. We were in prison.
            He was a tattooist. He had a machine made from an electric razor; you could get a tattoo done for chocolates, tobacco or drugs. Somewhere along the way he learnt to play guitar, drums – he learnt music by ear. I guess when I think back Daniel could hear music when others couldn’t. By then he was a fighter with a hard punch in his left hand.
            Around the prison Daniel traded for yeast, potatoes or sugar to make a brew. He was a good brewer even though he was the youngest prisoner in maximum security. He’d grown sleek like a panther. I don’t know why Daniel sought me out as a friend. Just sometimes when he was relaxed he had a smile that seemed to recapture the lost years, like he had a way of going back and watching out for another kind of life. He had different smile when he was angry. No one really trusts one another in maximum security but Daniel seemed to trust me.
            If you ever talk to Daniel he might tell you that I taught him to read and write. I’m not sure if I would have had the patience to teach someone but I don’t correct him. After a long time in maximum security Daniel was released. He got married. In the way these things work he ended up living next door to my grandmother. She would call Daniel and his wife over to chase strangers out of her house or to look for keys or money she’d lost.
            Something went wrong with a woman at a bus stop and Daniel got sent back. They say that everyone comes back. Daniel didn’t have much of a chance. He’d never worked except in the prison where he cooked or cut other prisoner’s hair. I met his wife in the visiting room, she was a publican. We talked about where she lived and this old lady that lived next door who turned out to be my grandmother who was 99. The old lady was visited by those she known throughout her 100 years, they hid in cupboards or whispered from behind curtains in the crisis of her old age.
            One day Daniel spoke from between the bars that separated our cell blocks. He was due for parole and wanted help with his letter. It was one of those languid days, when people are shooting the breeze and even in prison tensions might be down. “I can help you write it but there’s not much point unless it’s truthful. There’s something inside you Daniel that isn’t right, like a fire and you got to put it out,” I said.
            Daniel was smiling. Daniel by instinct wanted to smile. That was the first time he spoke to me about the agony of his childhood. I had to look him in the eyes even when I felt the need to look away. He was making his way out of prison he’d built around himself when he was just a boy. We wrote the letter on prison issue paper with uneven lines and used a dictionary for the words we didn’t know.
            Daniel got parole. Soon he had children of his own. He gave up making brews or drinking beer. He still lifted weights as though physicality is the last thing a fighter surrenders. He had trouble finding work because he didn’t like being told what to do by people he couldn’t respect. He had this idea that he needed to help others get out of the rut he had been in himself. Even before he left prison I told him not to worry about helping others.
            But Daniel is his own man. He put his splintered family connections together. Found his birth father and mother, brothers and sisters he didn’t know, found that he had Polynesian blood. If you saw Daniel with his own children you’d see how far he’d come from never having a childhood of his own. He loves them with a passion.
            I still see Daniel now and then. His children are almost grown. He’s taken an interest in the younger ones in his wider family. I can tell they admire Daniel because he looks them straight in the eye when he talks to them, jams with them on the guitar or drums. He talks straight and they like that. I suppose they can see that you don’t have to drink to be cool, that a swagger doesn’t make you strong. They could even see that strength is doing the right thing by others, an old lady living alone with taunting ghosts or a child with terror in its eyes.
            He still worries that he isn’t doing enough, worries about the children that need help, those fleeing by train or just running without knowing where they are going. He wants to write a book, or maybe be interviewed on TV so that he can give his message of hope. I tell him he doesn’t need that. It’s too much. Daniel just smiles. Daniel has his own mind.
            One time when I saw him he told me about taking the car keys off his youngest sister when she was out of it and going to drive with her baby in the car. She abused him; others in the family were upset with his interfering. He just laughed holding the keys and they didn’t seem to know what to do after that. He told me that the next time he saw his sister she had changed, as though she had worked out that he was only helping her and the baby. She’d realised that her brother loved her where once love had been bare on the ground.
            But that didn’t stop Daniel from telling her that he was making a stand. He said he would ring the authorities if anyone hurt any of the children or put them at risk. I imagined the flash of determination in his eyes and that smile that could be unnerving in its meaning. Prisoners are the last ones to ring the authorities, it’s frowned upon. We shot the breeze. The mood was languid just like that day we spoke through the bars. My friend Daniel’s face is black. When he smiles it sets me free.