Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Out on bail...

After a couple of minutes of nonsensical conversation he starts digging deep into his jacket. He pulls out a police evidence bag with a wad of paperwork and says "can you make sense of this...?"

More about 'I don't know Adrian' here and here.

The first wave of guys leaving after their plate of pasta was in full swing, the small room at Faith House opened up and when a chair became available next to Adrian I was able to sit next to him. He had been more agitated this evening than usual, he has a kind of musical chair routine throughout most evenings - tonight there was more to it, there was something up.

He seemed pleased even relieved that someone had sat next to him. After a couple of minutes of nonsensical conversation he starts digging deep into his jacket. He pulls out a police evidence bag with a wad of paperwork and says "can you make sense of this...?"

I have a quick look and see that Adrian is out on bail. Adrian has been involved in a violent assault in Yorkshire where this 'homeless guy' has a home. The bail conditions ban him from even going anywhere near where he lives, not that he would want to because people don't understand him and give him grief. So here he is homeless in London with a house in Yorkshire so he is stuffed!

Is it his fault that he plays his music excessively loud to try and drown out the torment in his head? Is it his fault that he has no awareness of what other people are feeling and that he has no idea that his behaviour is disturbing? Is it his fault that any rational conversation is impossible? Is it his fault that people get frustrated with him and shout at him? Is it his fault that all that is left open to him is to shout and flail his arms back? Is it his fault that he really 'doesn't know'?

I'm trying to work out who does know - because I know I certainly don't. Adrian certainly doesn't. The frustrated and angry neighbour pushed to extremes because of Adrian's eccentric and bewildering behaviour doesn't. The police sergeant who arrested him and processed his bail conditions certainly doesn't. The duty solicitor who sat with him and allowed him to be sent back onto the streets doesn't.

So here we are all not knowing - so we have a level playing field, none of us know! The problem that I have is that some people should know better!

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