"Please state your name"
"Do you have any other names under which you are known?"
"I am also known as Clark Kent"
"Umm excuse me?" interrupted the judge
The usher looked round, she knew this would be a troublesome day when her cat peed on the floor just as she was leaving home "Yes my lord?"
"Yes, Mr urgh, defendant. Can you tell me, is Super your first name?"
"No sir, I only have the one name, Superman, all one word sir"
"Ah, yes I see. Perhaps we may call you Mr Kent? Would that be acceptable for this case? Oh, and you should refer to me as Your Honour or My Lord ... No, no matter. Thank you, proceed"
The usher returned to the point of the case "Mr ... Kent, you are charged that on 23rd October you did engage in acts of a voyeuristic nature, to whit, viewing girls in swimming costumes using your X-ray vision to perceive them in a state of unwilling undress. You are further charged that on several other occasions in various locations you have similarly used your super powers for sexual gratification. How do you plead?"
"Oh, now?" He looked at his defence counsel 'yes Mr Superman, I mean Mr Kent' "Ah, Not Guilty Your Highness, I mean Your Honour"
The judge looked up, "Thank you, any submissions from counsel?"
Defence stood up, Ms J.R. Lowcraft QC "Yes Your Honour, we move that this case be dismissed as lacking any substantive evidence. Mr Kent's powers are such that no human could possibly have been aware of them. As such the evidence is entirely hearsay"
Mr Qualfang raised his head, stood up and laconically said "We will be calling a Miss Fewster, who will testify that the straps of her dress 'spontaneously' [he made ironic fingers in the air] caught fire causing her dress to fall to the ground. Mr Kent was standing nearby. Surely it is for the jury to decide if such many incidents are all circumstantial?"
Mr Justice Lean spoke more forcefully "I think Mr Qualfang you can leave me to decide what it is for the jury to decide. As for the evidence, until the court hears it we cannot know if it is all insubstantive. The case may proceed"
"Thank you My Lord." Mr Qualfang turned to the jury "Ladies [he emphasised this word, to impress on them how they were all at risk] and gentlemen of the jury, you will hear how on the 23rd of October, the defendant was seen at Dudley swimming pool. He made little attempt to swim, instead he was clearly seen to watch the young ladies, teenagers mostly, possibly the same age as young daughters –"
"Stick to the facts please Mr Qualfang"
"- Of course My Lord. He was seen to watch them intently. It is our contention that this monstrous man was in fact viewing their naked bodies beneath their swimming costumes, removing all their dignity to treat them as simply sex objects to be lusted after"
"Mr Kent, I must ask you not to interrupt. I realise that Mr Qualfang's descriptive powers sometimes get the better of his respect for the law; I shall attempt to keep him reigned in"
"I apologise once again My Lord. Ladies and gentlemen, you will also hear further how he was seen to then swim under water and stay there for full 15 minutes, lying on the bottom of the pool observing these young girls swimming overhead. There can be little doubt in your minds by the end of the trial that this man, if man he is, is guilty"
"Thank you Mr Qualfang, Ms Lowcraft?"
"As I have already explained ladies and gentlemen, there is in fact no evidence to prove any of these insubstantial accusations. We shall deal with each and every one of them and demolish them. Mr Kent, in his alter ego Superman has done wondrous things for our world and this case is just another vexatious and vicious attack on his reputation by jealous, small-minded individuals" Here she looked pointedly at Mr Qualfang who smiled ingenuously back.
"First witness I think" said the judge
"Call Hayley Thompson" shouted the usher. Maybe we'll get out quickly after all she thought. Mind you, I wouldn't mind someone like him looking under my clothes, I bet he's pretty sensational in bed.
The preliminaries attended too she started her evidence "Well, I was sitting on the side of the pool, chatting to Angela and Michaela. Michaela's got a new boy friend and she said he's really nice and Angela said that she'd heard that Toniatta had caught him f- I mean having sex with his sister and –"
"Miss Thomson? I presume it is Miss?" interrupted the judge
"I'm normally called ... never mind. Well, interesting as this all is, is it relevant?"
"I was setting the scene judge"
"Not to worry, just, ah, cut to the chase – is that the common parlance phrase?" About 50 years ago thought the usher.
"Okay well I looks up and there's this bloke looking at me, and well, it felt weird, like he was looking right through me."
"Thank you Hayley, Ms Lowcraft?"
"Hayley, you're an attractive girl"
"Is it rare for boys, or men, to look at you? I bet you get wolf-whistled round building sites?"
"I do, yesterday one guy, with a belly the size of London, he shouted 'I'd give ya one darlin'"
"And what did you do?"
"I shouted back"
"What did you shout?"
"I shouted – can I say this in court? I shouted 'you couldn't find your knob you fat git'. His mates all laughed, actually, so did he" So did the court, even the judge managed a smile.
"That doesn't sound like someone too upset by being admired for their looks, why was this occurrence at the swimming pool different?"
"Oh, it weren't, except well I just thought he looked like he was seeing more than I had on show if you see what I mean"
"Ah, feminine intuition. Thank you, you may step down"
Jade McGuire came on the stand, she found it hard to fit through the little door into the witness stand. Her story was almost identical. Different friends, but the story almost sounded like it had been rehearsed.
"Call Miss Fewster" Miss Fewster arrived in a dark trouser suit, the jacket had one button done up which emphasised her already impressive bust.
"Now Miss Fewster, can you, in your own words describe the incident that took place on June 9th this year?"
"Yes, I was at the Summer Fayre at Lower Budley Bangerwaite; its where my family live though I live in London now. Well Superman [she looked across at him and smiled] had opened the fete and was walking round. He did try the coconut shy but his throw broke the coconut and they wouldn't allow him on the Strength-O-Meter machine of course. I was wearing a red low cut summer dress with thin shoulder straps and no bra; it was a hot day" She said this like it explained the lack of a bra, the men of the jury weren't worried why, they were interested in imagining the scene though. "I was standing by the barbecue, eating a candy floss and I noticed Superman, Mr Kent, standing over near the tea tent, just looking at me. He smiled a little, and I thought 'that's nice', then both shoulder straps of my dress just burst into flames, well no, they kind of just disintegrated. When the dress slid to the ground I saw the straps were burning, but if they'd been burning on my shoulders I'd have been burnt, and I weren't" At the end she lapsed into the country vernacular that she tried so hard to avoid.
"What did you do? You were naked?"
"Well, I had on a pair of pants. But even that was embarrassing"
"Because they were very revealing, yes"
"No, they were huge. They were M&S comfy drawers. I'd bought them for travelling, [she looked at the women] they don't ride up your crack you see, much more comfortable for journeys and I was only there for the day. But to be seen in them, I have a reputation as a fashionable woman in Lower Budley Bangerwaite, and people saw me in pants my granny would have worn."
"Okay, but aside from that you were naked?"
"Yes, well I had my heels on of course, Jimmy Choos, they were, not very practical but I have a –"
"Reputation, yes, What Did You Do?" Dan Qualfang emphasised the words; this was becoming farcical. These women were all airheads!
"I went round the back of the tent. Joe Rolph brought me dress round. He held my candy floss while I put it back on and tied the straps together. He definitely got a good eyeful too."
"That must have been mortifying"
"Well, yes, but he's seen them before, Joe and I were an item for a while"
"Right, so you think Superman, Mr Kent, burnt off your straps?"
"Stands to reason don't it?" Prosecution sat and defence rose
"It was very hot that day wasn't it? Hottest day of the year I believe. Everything was tinder dry."
"Oh yes, Mr Bagnalls hay rick went up, spontaneous combustion they said"
"No-one blamed Superman for that?"
"No, silly, why would he burn down a hayrick?"
"Why indeed Miss Fewster. Why would he burn off you shoulder straps? No, that was rhetorical. But would it surprise you to know that the dress you were wearing had a high flammability rating? They were recalled you know. Oh, you didn't? Yes the colouring was found to make the fabric liable to ignition at quite low temperatures. Where were you standing?"
"By the coconut shy"
.... There is more of this story ...