Testing the hypothesis


What are the conditions that conspire to bring about a state of being placed under suspicion?

Test the hypothesis…:

560 words

Consider a missing glove; one of a pair of ladies gloves. You are male, in the vicinity, had opportunity etc. This missing glove has not been found about your person but there are six people…: a retired solicitor, a barrister, an investor, a retired lady, a former employer of the victim and the victim who are prepared to contribute insights about your character and movements and can attest to the fact that you were at the scene and to the best of their knowledge when no else had been. It’s looking bad. The first thing to establish is whether this is a criminal offence and one that would attract sanctions. Is it theft?

Whilst this is a curious scenario and one that would attract protest on the ground that a man is unlikely to pinch one of a pair of ladies gloves! Well, if the object belongs to another then surely it is theft regardless of gender of accused or object. But it cannot be of use to the thief or at least there are very few reasons I can think of for taking one glove and it doesn’t matter, does it? It is still depriving the owner of their property. As for the peculiarity of the stolen object and the uselessness of the object to a man or indeed anyone, this is a matter for the psychiatrist.

However, what if you, the suspect, didn’t take the glove? The butcher, baker and candlestick maker have had a hand in establishing… shall we say, likely guilt; they have contributed to revealing aspects of your character. You may be a teller of tall tales, objects may have gone missing in the past and you may have had a bad relationship with your Mother or may have been more than a little smug when you got a higher grade at school and any number of things along these lines and this is all said before you even get a chance to put your part let alone in open court. This is what happens especially when credible, competent and compellable witnesses such as these weigh in. You’re the only one who knows you didn’t take the glove don’t forget. What the hell are you going to do?

The unfortunate position is that there is no proof… there is very little you can do. You didn’t have the glove about you and you know why; yet the idiomatic expression “no smoke without fire”; others will learn of this and yet more people will hear when you might find that a single glove becomes a precious family heirloom and that when you were known as the teller of tall tales you become a bare-faced liar and these allegations reach corners of society that you would not otherwise reach. So the upshot is that no charges were brought on the ground that there was no evidence and maybe because of the low value (although that shouldn’t happen) you were/are a suspect and may well continue to be subjected to the unpleasant reverberations for a long time to come.


Would you want the authorities to pursue legal action against you?

Would you want anonymity in the legal process?

Would you want to bring actions for defamation?




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