The Casey Defence

In the history of the Salvo I doubt, though I am more than happy to be corrected, if there was ever a more bizarre set of circumstances surrounding a pupil being expelled.

I must remember to use the word 'allegedly' as it is nowadays generally accepted, in Britain, that this word somehow is the legal equivalent of 'vay-nites' to libel and slander actions.

A group of lads from the year above me were playing leg-cricket in the playground, in the days when children still used their legs. For the uninitiated leg-cricket (not to be confused with pocket-billiards) involved chalking a set of cricket stumps onto a wall, the person who was 'in' stoutly defended the stumps with one of his legs and everybody else tried to get him out by trying to hit the stumps with a 'tennis' ball.

'Allegedly' ... two of the people playing on this particular day were Paul Bird and Danny Casey. Bird bowling, Casey batting (I suppose legging would be more technically accurate). Now a chalked cricket stump on a wall has a distinct disadvantage to its free-standing counterpart in that it doesn't tend to fall over when hit by the ball. Anyway an argument ensued along the lines of "you're out ... no I'm not ... you're out ... no I'm not ... you're out ... no I'm not" (sound familiar?). Well Danny Casey, who was cast in the role of "no I'm not", was left with only one option ... so he stabbed Paul Bird. Not a superficial graze either, but the full monty as far as stabbings go, ambulance and all.

I think it would have been generally accepted, as the stabbing was indisputable, that Casey would have the Salvatorian badge ripped from his blazer and subsequently be expelled from the school. Not so. The 'School', ably assisted by the school governors, brokered a compromise which cunningly would see justice done and yet at the same time save the School's reputation.

Danny Casey and his parents were summoned before the 'panel' to hear his fate. Staggeringly ... Casey was offered that if he 'personally' apologised to Paul Bird's parents then he wouldn't be expelled. Nothing could of prepared the 'panel' for Danny Casey's response - "I am willing to personally apologise to Bird's parents as long as he concedes that I wasn't out in the first place" ... an absolute peach of playground logic. I have always referred to this as the 'Casey Defence'.

Strangely Danny didn't return to the school and presumably went on to play leg-cricket at a comprehensive, that used video evidence and a third umpire.
(Colm Foley 71-78)

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