On Sunday I listened to the Omnibus of The Archers. For non-English readers, The Archers is a long running radio serial programme and a story line has gripped listeners. An extremely dark story line of coercive control has been played out over the last couple of years (incidentally as I started to listen). It culminated with the victim of this abuse (the wife) stabbing her abuser. Last week she stood trial for his attempted murder.
On Sunday, in an extra long episode, we listened to the jury debate their verdict. And I listened with gratitude. Because it was so totally different to my experience of jury service at the start of the year. This fictional jury was made up of bigots, victims, chips-on-shoulders characters, couldn’t care less kind of characters who weren’t kept in order and then suddenly came up with a verdict that contradicted what they had all been saying… thankfully it was fiction.
Because in real life, I had been put together with 11 other people, who I had never met before and am unlikely to ever meet again. We were thrown together in to a case that was pretty gruesome and we listened and saw things that joined us in a common purpose. We were all utterly committed to doing our task responsibly for both the victim, the accused and society.
That experience has been a very special one for me, for a number of reasons. But as I listened to the motley crew on Radio 4, I was reminded of my fellow jurors who came together in one moment of time to do a job we were asked to do. It was special.
Thank you to them and thanks for listening.