Portsmouth has always been a busy area for our examiners and last week we were contacted by a client who had served in the Services in Portsmouth for almost 30 years and needed to move forward to the next phase of his life after recently retiring. The client and his wife had lived in Portsmouth for most of his service and they were particularly pleased and somewhat surprised that we were able to offer an office location in the heart of Portsmouth, at the prestigious 1000, Lakeside in Portsmouth’s North Harbour.
The couple were met on arrival by our examiner Karl Sheridan. Karl is a very experienced investigator and in his long career he has attended numerous Police and Home Office approved training courses in the very latest interview techniques. He has a reputation for his personable open approach to communicating with our clients, helping them understand the polygraph procedure, its benefits and limitations. At the same time, he has an analytical and meticulous approach to the detail of the situation under examination. Many clients have posted glowing reviews about how he not only conducted the examination in a very professional manner but did so in a caring non-judgemental way.
During their initial meeting the client explained how the couple had first met when he and a group of fellow Navy ratings gate-crashed an Emergency Services Disco, held not too far from where our Portsmouth office now stood. The client and his wife to be met at the Bar and immediately started a conversation about how cheeky the sailors were to invade the venue. She was a trainee nurse at a local Portsmouth Hospital at the time and as the night came to a close and the traditional slow songs rang out, the client approached her again and stole the last dance. The word stole, was aptly chosen as just as he walked over to her he saw a tall good looking man heading in the same direction. The clients stealth paid off and he got the girl but in a funny turn of fate, the tall good looking man, a young local Police Officer became lifelong friends with the couple, even acting as Best Man at their wedding.
Not unlike many sailors, the client spent most of his 30 years’ service at sea with only short periods back at home in Portsmouth. As the years past he found it more and more difficult to leave Portsmouth Harbour as his family grew from one small baby waving him off with Mother, to two boys and girl. The clients’ wife held the family together during his absence, balancing being a mother with a part time nursing career and continual studying so that she could progress in her profession as the children got older. She too was about to retire from the Portsmouth Hospital NHS having achieved the position of Nursing Sister specialising in Coronary Care. She was equally keen to move onto the next phase of her life.
Meanwhile, their Best Man had progressed through the ranks of the Police Service, moving between the uniformed local Portsmouth Police to working in the Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Over the years the client, his wife and the Best Man and his wife took holidays together and their children became lifelong friends. Each attended family celebrations on birthdays, anniversaries and whenever the best man was promoted to the next rank. The client was often grateful for the Police Officers help when family issues arose whilst he was away at sea. It had been the Police Officer who rushed the clients’ wife into the Maternity Ward on each of the three occasions she gave birth, with his wife remaining to look after the younger siblings.
Together with his wife, the Police Officer was also the father figure that attended the School plays and Christmas Services, took the clients son to football training and taught him to swim. Knowing they were all in a position to retirement around the same time, the two couples had been planning their futures. All three of them were now in a position to retire on a reasonable pension, yet were young enough to want another challenge balanced with time to enjoy life. They had more or less agreed that they would go into business together, using part of their pensions to purchase Bed and Breakfast in Portsmouth.
It was at the Best Mans retirement party that the client, having consumed quite a lot of alcohol, accused his wife of having an affair with the Best Man and casting suspicion on the paternity of one or more of his children. The Police Officer initially laughed off the comment, taking it as a joke but as the client continued making his drunken allegations the officer and his wife realised that the client was actually being serious and the retirement party ended with both couples terminating a lifelong friendship. Some months had now passed and it was the client’s wife who instigated contact again, at first with the officer’s wife. These women had shared confidences in the past and supported each other through their pregnancies, when the children were ill and all of the other challenges and issues a mother has to face when they are alone bringing up young children. The officer’s wife had also been supported by her friend on many similar occasions as her husband, the Police Officer often being away working long hours on different crimes as his career progressed. She had even shared the fact that she and her husband had almost split up after she discovered he was having an affair with a junior female officer some two years before his retirement.
Karl wanted to know exactly what had caused the client to suspect his former friend, who until the night of the officer’s retirement party had been as close as a brother and stand-in father to his children. My wife hadn’t told me about our friend’s affair with the junior officer but it made sense when I found out sometime later. About the same time as the affair was happening my wife’s attitude to him noticeably changed and it was then that I couldn’t quite figure out why. When I did find out about the affair, I got it into my head that my wife’s change in how she related to him was because she was jealous and then one thought led to another and kept going around and around in my head. Most of the time I could settle the thoughts and reasoned that there was absolutely no way the two of them would have had affair but then the thoughts would come back again and again.
It was actually the police officer who suggested that we all took a polygraph test. Just prior to his retirement he had been working with a new unit of officers tasked with conducting lie detector tests on sex offenders and he had seen some excellent results supported by admissions. He had even offered to pay for both couples to take a test individually. Both the client’s wife and the retired police officer were tested by Karl for Infidelity. The officer’s prior affair with the junior officer was excluded from the test questions and he passed his test. The client’s wife also clearly passed the infidelity questions. And as for the client, he was massively relieved if not somewhat embarrassed and happily accepted the outcomes. The couples left to celebrate and continue their plans to work together in retirement at their new Portsmouth B & B.