As an air hostess she should have known better.
By Pat Greenham
As Julie was being interviewed in the Police Station after spending an uncomfortable night in the cells, she knew that she was in big trouble. The previous evening had been normal enough until one of her friends suggested going to a party in town. That’s where it all went badly wrong.
This was Julie’s second year working for a Middle Eastern airline as an Air Hostess. She was having a great time – a normal month would see her doing three long haul trips, each with about four days away from home with the rest of the time spent in the sun. Julie lived on a compound that was for the sole use of employees of the airline, largely air hostesses and stewards. The compound was safe and outside the concerns of the police who turned a ‘blind eye’ to the alcohol that was consumed. Indeed most of the employees were allowed to buy a certain amount of alcohol per month from government controlled centers. The rules were clear – that this was purely for home consumption.
On the previous night, Julie and another hostess were arrested at a party and charged with illegally consuming alcohol at an address in the town as well as being under the influence. She had slept badly and was now in front of two police officers together with a representative from the airline, a chap called Patrick Smith. Both officers were fluent in English and told her that they had no alternative but to charge her and put her before the court later the same day. Julie was in a complete panic and asked if she needed to have a solicitor. The airline representative asked the officers if he might have a few moments alone with Julie.
As the officers left, Patrick Smith told Julie that getting a solicitor would be a waste of time as she had no alternative but to plead guilty to the charge and face the court. He added that she was not the only airline employee involved and if asked, his advice would be the same for the other girl. Julie asked what was likely to happen in court, to be told that the local judges were very unpredictable, but that generally because the airline was state owned they tried to avoid as much publicity as possible. He said there were a number of possibilities included a jail term, a fine and deportation. He told Julie that there was one further possibility, which would involve her being sentenced to lashes, but added that he felt this to be very unlikely, particularly as she was a female. Julie did not know what to think as the officers returned and began the formal charging process. At the end the officer in charge asked Julie if she intended to plead guilty as it would make things a lot easier and added that the court generally tends to look more favorably on those that admitted their crime.
Patrick Smith was known and trusted by the police and was told that Julie was free to return to the compound but that he was to ensure she was brought before the court at 2 pm. Further that she should dress in line with the culture of the country as opposed to the jeans and revealing top she was wearing.
In the car, Julie again asked what Patrick thought might happen – to which he replied that he genuinely had no idea, but hoped that it would not be too severe, telling her that he would give her a character reference and try to mitigate against any kind of jail term.
Patrick dropped her off at the compound and told her to be ready by 1.30 when he would come and take her to court. Julie changed into her most formal airline uniform, which consisted of a full-length dress and jacket and tried to have some lunch while she waited. In truth she had no appetite and the time dragged until Patrick collected her and drove her to court.
The Court House was austere and Julie and Patrick waited to be called. During this time another girl from the party arrived with a different airline representative, clearly having been through exactly the same process. At 2 on the dot Julie and Patrick were called into the court to be greeted by two judges and a number of officials. There were also a number of people in the public gallery. Only one of the judges spoke English and when Julie was asked to stand in the dock, he read out the charge sheet about consuming alcohol in a public place that she had earlier signed before asking her how she was to plead. Julie knew there was no sense in saying anything else but “guilty”, to which the judge nodded.
The judge then asked Patrick if he had anything to say to which he read from a prepared statement about her pervious good record and told the court that she was a valued employee and asked that Julie’s admission of guilt be taken into account and stressed that she did not want to waste any unnecessary court time. When Patrick had finished the judge said that he wanted to retire for five minutes to discuss the case with his colleague.
After the longest five minutes of Julie’s life they returned and asked her to stand. The judge that spoke English told her that they had taken everything that had been said into account including her guilty plea and had decided that in this case a custodial sentence was not necessary. However the only alternative they were prepared to consider was a flogging and it had been decreed that she would receive twelve lashes. The judge asked her if she understood her sentence to which Julie nodded having no idea what twelve lashes actually meant, but that it sounded awful.
The judge said that the hearing was suspended and asked the court official to take Julie to the waiting room so that the appropriate equipment could be set up in the court for her sentence to be carried out. Julie could not take in everything that was happening – she wasn’t going to jail which was an incredible relief but she certainly had not got used to the shocking idea that she was going to suffer a flogging – and that it was going to happen immediately and in the court room itself.
Julie was then taken from the court by a side door down a corridor to a small room with a number of chairs and told to wait. Moments later Patrick joined her and told her that he was very surprised at the outcome but that she should content herself with the fact that despite what was about to happen, she had avoided prison and a heavy fine. He added that it was also very unusual for the court not to apply a deportation order which meant that she could keep her job.
Julie asked him if he knew anything about what a flogging involved, to which Patrick told her that whilst the words used were flogging and lashes, his understanding was that the punishment would be more similar to a caning as carried out in English public schools. Julie asked Patrick if it would be given by a male or female and who would be present – Patrick replied that he was uncertain but suggested that everyone that had been in the court room would remain to witness her flogging and that he would ensure he was with her at all times. He added that there may be an element of humiliation involved.
A few minutes later the court official returned and told Julie that the officer that was going to administer the flogging was ready and that she should return to the courtroom. Julie and Patrick followed the official back to the court room that now had an A framed trestle to the left of the judges bench with a number of canes on the table. Julie saw that the trestle had a number of straps that were clearly to be used to secure anyone being punished. There were four straps on each of the legs of the trestle and two on the rear cross bar toward the middle. Patrick had been right, as everyone that had attended the hearing was still present, and as word had spread that a flogging was to take place, others from the Court House had come to watch the spectacle. Also to Julie’s horror there was a new male officer standing by the trestle that was clearly going to administer the flogging.
The judge declared that the court was back ‘in session’ and the senior officer detailed to administer the flogging read out the official court report that outlined her punishment in more detail. The instrument to be used for the flogging would be a thirty-six inch cane and the lashes were to be 60 seconds apart. Then came the most shocking statement, when the officer told her that she will receive the punishment without clothes, adding that: “As you western girls parade about the beach in a state of scandalous nudity, you will be flogged on your unprotected buttocks.”
He then told Julie to remove whatever clothes necessary to be undressed below the waist, which sent her into a sense of inner panic. Patrick had previously told her that however awful the situation was, it would all be over in half an hour and that it would be best to comply. Julie then faced the prospect of undressing in front of everyone in the courtroom, but told herself she had no choice and remembered that she had avoided a prison term. She took off her jacket before asking if she could pull up her dress – to which he repeated that the required items of clothing covering her lower half must be completely removed. Realising she was going to have to take off her dress, she regretted not choosing her other uniform that included a skirt which would have allowed a small amount of modesty. She then unzipped her floor length uniform dress and let it fall to the ground before folding it and placing it on the table. Because of the hot climate she was not wearing any tights or stockings and Julie stood before them in her underwear.
The officer that was going to cane Julie was obviously enjoying her discomfort as he told her to remove her shoes and ‘lower underwear’. Julie slipped off her shoes and knew it was a hopeless situation as she hesitated before putting her fingers in the elastic of her knickers and slowly pushed them down off her hips to the ground. Now with only her bra remaining and completely naked below the waist she gave everyone in the courtroom a vision to behold – a twenty two year old in fantastic shape, medium height with firm breasts, trim waist and long shapely legs flared up through her hips. Julie was facing the front giving everyone behind her in the court a view of her wonderfully round bottom that was going to be the focus of attention for all shortly. The two judges, the court official and Patrick took in her frontal nudity with her light coloured triangle of pubic hair at the apex of her legs.
Julie was told by the senior officer to approach the trestle and bend over it whilst he instructed the other officers to fasten her ankles and wrists to the straps fixed to the trestle. Julie’s legs were pulled slightly apart as the two straps fixed to the lower cross bar were used and her wrists were attached to the front legs of the trestle. Julie was thankful the straps on the rear legs had not been used which would have meant that her legs would have been wide apart. Once the officers had finished she was very securely attached to the trestle with very little scope for movement and Julie did not know what to think with the horror of her naked bottom presented in the most incredibly embarrassing way to the court and the prospect of a caning that could only be incredibly painful.
The atmosphere was electric as the senior officer selected a cane from the array on the table and tested it by cutting the air a few times. He then approached Julie and told her to expect the first stroke as he lined the cane up across the middle of her bottom before taking it back slowly, hesitating at the top of his swing before bringing it down with speed and striking her bottom. For a split second there was nothing before Julie felt an explosion of pain the like of she had never before experienced and she gasped out load as an immediate red strip formed across both her cheeks quite low about an inch above the crease. Exactly 60 seconds later he repeated the action of taking the cane back slowly before giving Julie her second devastating stroke, which struck quite high on her bottom and caused another gasp as she tried to come to terms with the pain. The 60 second wait before each stroke seemed in some ways to last forever, but in another way it was all too soon that the officer touched Julie’s bottom with the cane before once again taking it back high and bringing it down at speed to hit Julie’s bottom just above the first stroke and caused yet another load gasp.
As the caning continued, the officer was carefully filling in the gap between the first two strokes and it was three minutes after the third strike that Julie received the sixth stroke marking the half way point with another six to come. She had heard of ‘six-of-the-best’ at boys schools when she had grown up and wondered how the six strokes she had received compared. Whatever, her bottom was on fire as she told herself just six more minutes and it would all be over.
Strangely the officer decided to change canes, selecting a slightly longer weapon that was more ‘whippy’. After another minute passed he lined it up between previous strokes and once again thrashed Julie’s bottom, resulting in a very loud gasp as she felt her whole body tense against the straps securing her firmly to the trestle. The new cane felt different – even more stingy whilst slightly less heavy but nevertheless still shatteringly painful.
Julie was determined not to cry but was struggling with the awful pain as well as the knowledge that everyone in the courtroom was witnessing her terrible shame and her dreadful ordeal. She didn’t think it possible for her bottom to be in more pain and it felt as if she had sat on a hot plate. Sixty seconds later the officer took the longer cane back over his shoulder and delivered the eighth stroke finding one of the remaining gaps of white bottom and Julie gave another loud and long gasp as again a brand of fire was created across her bottom.
She knew she had four more strokes to endure as she waited for the ninth stroke wondering what he bottom must look like and again thinking about the twenty or so people, mostly men focusing on it. Julie felt another light tap as the officer took aim and seconds later the cane struck home with another shatteringly painful line of fire applied right across her bottom.
It did not seem to Julie like a full sixty seconds had passed before the tenth stroke was given, this time without a preliminary tap and therefore unexpected but just as hard, this time causing her to cry out. However there were still no tears and Julie was now determined to complete her ordeal without anything more than giving out a gasp.
The eleventh stroke was administered in the same way with the officer finding yet another tiny sliver of white bottom that had not previously been touched and Julie cried out again, but knew she had just one more to endure.
The officer decided to change canes yet again, this time selecting a straight handled cane that was at least forty inches long as he asked the judges if they were satisfied with the punishment or did they want him to administer extra strokes. The judge told the officer that he had administered a sound punishment but added that one extra stroke would be a good way of underlining to the girl the error of her ways.
The officer moved back to Julie’s side and measured the new cane up against her bottom before giving her the twelfth and extra stroke in very quick succession causing both a gasp and a loud cry out. Julie’s bottom had thirteen clear stripes, all positioned between the low first stroke and high second stroke.
Finally it was over and Julie was breathing heavily as one of officers undid the four straps so that she could stand up. She went for her clothes to be told by the judge to stop and turn away so that they could inspect her bottom for themselves. They complemented the officer who had administered the caning on his proficiency as Julie endured yet more humiliation with her frontal nudity on show to everyone in the courtroom. The judge then announced that the court session was over with judgment passed and sentence carried out.
The court official then collected up her dress, knickers and shoes before telling Julie to follow him back to the waiting room where she was finally allowed to put her clothes back on.
Patrick then drove Julie back to the compound where he offered to apply some cold cream to her wounded bottom. Julie initially declined but then thought why not? – he had seen everything she had to show and led him to her bedroom before stripping off and laying face down on her bed as he applied some welcome cold cream.
He told her that he would arrange for her to have a few days off and in reality it took at least ten days for the marks to go. For the first three or four days she was reminded of her caning every time she sat down.
Julie also discovered that she had been right to plead guilty as her friend who was arrested at the same party had been dealt with by another court, had chosen to plead not guilty which resulted in a longer hearing – being found guilty and was given four weeks in jail and a prison flogging which she was later to learn was given in front of all the inmates in the prison square on the second day of her term.