Authors: Bill Carson
The middle-aged, mousey-haired, bespectacled, smartly turned out slim woman with the kindly face finished her phone call, her ultra-light footsteps hardly making a sound as she approached the group of people sitting in the waiting area.
“Terry Jackson?” she said quietly to the group.
John slowly raised his hand.
“Mr Jackson, would you like to come with me, please,” she said in a well-spoken accent.
He’d decided to put on a bit of an act, and the idea was to try and portray a character that was a little slow witted with a slight speech impediment. He reckoned he’d add a limp for good measure which hopefully should stir the conscience of even the coldest of hearts.
The reason behind the subterfuge was to try and establish the sympathy vote, as once having done so her judgement may be somewhat clouded by his rather pathetic persona, and therefore she may not be as thorough as she might be when scrutinising his documents. It was a bit of a gamble, but if you don’t place a bet, you’ll never win. He really wasn’t sure if he could pull it off but it was too late now, and there was no way out. He had to give it his best shot.
“Terry Jackson, that’s right, you’re my one o’clock. You phoned earlier, didn’t you?” she said, as she tapped something out at lightning speed on the keyboard of her computer.
“Yes, that’s right, I’m Terry Jackson, I phoned you earlier,” he said in a low murmur and then, ever so slightly, but enough for her to notice, he began to rock back and forth in the chair while looking at the floor.
“Yes, I took the call and my name is Debbie. Now, it was the kitchen porter’s job you were after, wasn’t it? I have the details on screen: it’s at the Old Bailey, and you’ll have to mind your p’s and q’s in there, Terry. It’s a casual position, you know that, don’t you?” she said, as she raised her neatly sculptured eyebrows while adjusting her specs and making a note of his subtle peculiarities.
“Casual work, I like casual work. It’s the job in the window, the kitchen porter, pot washing and cleaning and stuff like that. I’m good at pot washing,” he said, while looking at the floor.
“Oh OK, Terry, that’s fine, and yes we do have a vacancy for a kitchen porter but I’ll have to ask you to fill out a couple of forms before we go any further and…” She paused mid-sentence, second-guessed the situation, and decided to fill out all of the forms for him to save any potential embarrassment.
So far the ploy seemed to be going well, but he felt the need to tweak it a little to really get the hooks into her, as she looked like the kind of a women who would be very meticulous.
“Right then, Terry, all I need for you to do now is sign here, here and just there. Name and address we’ve got already,” she said, as she marked the application form with crosses to indicate where he needed to sign. “ I will need to see some form of ID before we proceed to the next step and then we’re almost done. Now, did you bring anything with you? Your birth certificate or driver’s licence for example?” she said, without pausing for breath.
“Yes, got me
, yes, got that,” he said, as he handed over the fake crumpled document.
“Oh good, that’s fine. I’ll go and make some copies and then I want to make sure that we dot all the i's and cross all the t's. I’ll be back in a moment,” she said and softly patted the back of his hand for just a moment too long to be comfortable. He looked into her deep hazel eyes and she smiled in a very gentle pleasing way.
Bloody hell, I think I’ve pulled
, he thought.
He watched her as she disappeared into a small room at the back of the office, and he could hear the whirring sounds coming from the mechanism of the photocopier as it printed a duplicate of the false document. He then took a quick look at the job that was posted on the wall next to him which was the same job that was in the window. It read, ‘Kitchen porter required to work at the Old Bailey, apply within.’
She was back within a few minutes, and informed him that it would take a couple of days to process the information, but went on to say that she was prepared to contact them on his behalf and arrange an interview. As she leant forward, her warm forearm momentarily brushed against his cheek and he caught a whiff of her perfume as she slid the kitchen porter vacancy card from the plastic holder on the wall.
“I’ve got a good feeling about you, Terry,” she said, and finished with that nice warm friendly smile again as she handed him back the birth certificate, “and you’ll be pleased to hear that I am going to call someone this afternoon. If you could make yourself available at short notice as they may require you for an interview, and the only other thing is that I will need to see some references at some stage, but we don’t have to worry about those right now.”
“Thank you, Debbie, bye, Debbie, thank you,” he said, as he shuffled out of the door.
My God, that was so hard to pull off and was far more difficult than I thought it would b
e, he thought to himself as he stretched his back.
That afternoon he had planned to shadow his target, but he felt he’d pushed his luck as far as he was going to today. He opted to quit while he was ahead and caught the Tube back to the grotty little house in Bayswater, where he spent the rest of the day tinkering with the scooter in the back yard. At five o’clock on the dot his mobile rang; it was the nice helpful lady from the agency.
“Hello, can I speak to Terry Jackson, please?”
“Terry speaking,” he said in a slightly muffled tone.
“Hi, Terry, this is Debbie from the agency. I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve been able to set up an interview for you on Monday morning at ten o’clock at the Old Bailey, and you are to report to the head chef, Roger Jones.”
“Thank you, Debbie, ten o’clock, Old Bailey, to see Roger Jones, thank you.”
“Yes, that’s right. Best of luck now, and don’t forget to let me know how you got on, and pop in if you are passing?”
“I will, Debbie, thank you, goodbye.”
Her tone was light and pleasant, and John had rightly thought that she had taken a bit of a shine to him.
So far things were going as he planned, and he was deep in thought as he sat at the small table in his dingy little kitchen. Stage two would go ahead tomorrow.
I’ll start by getting a closer look at this old judge and find out what his movements are, and where he likes to take a tipple of an evening. Then I’ll see what makes this old boy tick and also discover how good his security arrangements are,
he thought, as he gazed at the ceiling.
This particular judge was a terribly arrogant and exceptionally overconfident man. He was a security nightmare as he always insisted upon walking the final stretch to the front doors of the Old Bailey alone. His chauffeur-driven Mercedes would stop on the corner of Limeburner Lane, and from there he and his bodyguard would walk the rest of the way.
He did this deliberately, and would always absolutely insist on doing so as it was all done as a show of bravado. He wanted it to appear to all, especially the newspaper photographers who were always loitering around the front of the building, that he was paying no heed to the many death threats that had been levelled against him over the past few years. Actually, he was beginning to think of himself as a bit of a celebrity.
He was a controversial character, and had now become the most unpopular judge of modern times – unpopular with villains, of course, and also with the public and within his own circles. It seemed that almost everybody detested the man.
The reasons for this loathing were many, but mainly due to his obscure method of reasoning. He had been involved in some very controversial decisions throughout his career and recently had made some shockingly poor rulings, such as the terribly harsh sentence handed out to Lynda Jackson. In contrast, in his next case he’d shown a great deal of unwarranted sympathy for a prolific paedophile, and had given him a suspended sentence, despite his despicable inhuman crimes.
In recent weeks, he’d presided over a vicious rape case which was splashed all over the front pages of the daily newspapers. During his summing up he had suggested to the jury that the woman concerned was partially to blame for the attack due to her promiscuous past and the provocative way that she had dressed herself on the night in question. In doing so he had cast reasonable doubt in the jury’s mind, and they had consequently acquitted the accused of the brutal assault. He was then only charged with a lesser offence.
He was without a doubt a peculiar man who seemed to thrive on controversy. He’d become far too powerful and was completely out of touch with the modern world, a relic left over from another age, and his reign would have to come to an end.
John weaved the scooter in and out of the busy early morning bumper-to-bumper traffic, and parked directly opposite the main entrance of the Old Bailey. He’d disguised himself to look something like a motorcycle courier so as not to arouse too much suspicion. He sat on the bike while pretending to study a map of central London, and at exactly two minutes past nine he saw the tall, lean imposing figure of Lord Justice William Morris Denton, or WMD for short, as he was called within his close inner circle. From beneath the dark visor of his helmet, John’s eyes locked on as the judge approached the entrance of the grand old building of Justice.
John’s jaw muscles clenched tight as the judge got closer, and he could now clearly see his grey, shameful, granite-like expressionless face with that prominent statuesque pompous nose stuck in the air, and above it the two unemotional slits for eyes. Seeing him again brought forth the fear and anticipation and all of the stomach-churning queasiness of that dreadful day, which was in fact Lynda’s last day on earth.
And it was all because of him
, John thought.
John’s plan was to kidnap the judge and thereby send an unprecedented warning to the judiciary and the government of this land. It would quite simply be a declaration of war on a corrupt, out of touch, archaic establishment. However much he felt like running across the road to put an end to the man right there, he knew that the plan he had in store would be much more effective. He had to keep his emotions totally under control and remembered that a quick death would be the easy way out. There are far worse fates that can befall a man.
John had no intention of assassinating a high court judge right outside the Old Bailey in broad daylight, no matter how poetic or tempting such a demise would be. His time would come and there was no rush. When he struck it’d not be in front of the highest court in the land. His strategy would be to catch him off guard in a place where he felt safe and, just like Tony Costa, where he would be most vulnerable. And because of who he was and what he represented, there would have to be a very fitting ending for such a prominent persecutor.
There will be no easy way out of this world for him. He will have to be made an example of in order to deter others of a similar ilk
, thought John, as he twisted the key in the ignition.
On Monday morning at nine thirty, John jumped of the scooter and stowed his helmet in the box on the back and made his way inside the small coffee shop just around the corner from the Old Bailey. He sipped at his black coffee while preparing himself for his ten o’ clock interview. He desperately needed to get inside the place so he could then learn the schematics and layout of the building, and, at the same time, he’d be able to study the judge’s movements and habits at close quarters. When the time was right he would make his move.
Until then he simply could not rest, and when the deed was done he had plans to simply take all of his money and disappear. At nine forty-five, John was at the rear entrance of the building, and was politely directed by the friendly, grey-haired security guard to go to a small office where his interview was to take place. It was a short, no-nonsense affair and, as they’d already had the recommendation from the nice lady at the agency, it was pretty much a formality. All he had to do was put on his little act and the whole thing would go without a hitch, which it did.
It was quite a pleasant and painless experience, and they offered him the job on the spot. He accepted, and his new career move was to begin at seven o’ clock sharp on the following Monday, so now he was in.
Next morning John was up early, he put his face up close to the grimy bedroom window, peeked out and studied the sky. It was a pleasant, clear morning, and a jog three times around the local park would constitute a little over four miles, a perfect start to a busy day. After a shower and a quick bite to eat, he decided on a sightseeing tour of Westminster. As he locked the front door he pulled his black shades from his pocket and made his way to the station to take the tube to Westminster. It had been a while since he’d travelled on the underground, and while sitting there, rattling along in the carriage, it brought back some unpleasant memories.