For the best part of an hour-and-a-half, Charlie Gard’s mother managed to maintain a composure bordering on the heroic.
Connie Yates was furiously busy, scribbling notes, thrusting them in to the hands of the family’s lawyers when not firing off texts to medical experts around the world – anything at all which might just keep the door marked ‘hope’ ajar for her desperately ill little boy.
Her frantic efforts were as agonising to watch as her partner’s smouldering fury. Chris Gard preferred to sit, head down, staring at one of his son’s favourite toys, a little stuffed brown monkey clasped between his trembling hands. Pale and stressed beyond comprehension, the couple finally snapped.
As the barrister for Great Ormond Street Hospital coolly restated her client’s position – that Charlie’s life support machinery should be switched off because of his ‘irreversible brain damage’ – Mr Gard could contain himself no more. ‘When are you going to start telling the truth?’ he yelled. Connie piled in, too.
‘It’s very hard to sit here and hear this when it’s not true,’ she said, doing her level best to hold back the tears.
In most cases in most courts, a judge would explode with dire warnings against any further such interventions.
But as Mr Justice Francis himself was the first to admit, this continues to be an extraordinary case making extraordinary demands of all involved, none more so than Charlie’s parents.
This article continues at [UK Daily Mail] ‘When are you going to start telling the truth?’ Charlie Gard's father shouted after a barrister coolly restated that his son's life support machinery should be switched off: ROBERT HARDMAN on another emotional day in court