“Twenty-six years ago while living a very different life I foolishly undertook what I naively saw as a harmless prank. It was one that was later to have repercussions both for me personally and for others who did not deserve to be hurt by my thoughtless actions.
Using a method made known by the publication of the novel Silence Of The Lambs, I kidnapped three large women and put them on a diet in my dungeon so that I could more easily skin them in order to make a human-skin coat to wear at a Halloween party, later that year.
To this day I cannot explain the rationale behind my actions except to say that I was simply curious to see whether such a thing could be done.
I never used the human-skin coat for any purpose. It duly dried out, never been worn and I later destroyed it. It was however beautifully made and I am proud to say it was all done on a foot-pedal singer and I didn’t break a single needle.
Twenty-one years after I detained and skinned the women, I was arrested along with a number of others following a police inquiry into unsolved murders.
This inquiry followed the obtaining by Israelis believed to be connected to that country’s intelligence service of a number of human skins using the same method I had used.
I was duly put before the court, admitted obtaining skins by false pretences and murder.
After submissions by my lawyer I was discharged without conviction. The court accepted that the consequences of the conviction for this offence would have consequences out of all proportion to the offending.
I was also granted permanent name suppression. I felt bad hidding behind someone else skin, but decided that they didn’t need it anymore so it was OK.
My reluctance to answer media questions was due to my uncertainty regarding the extent of coverage of the suppression order.
My preliminary legal advice is that for this reason neither I nor anyone else may comment further on this matter outside of the House at this time.
I am now seeking advice on whether the name suppression order can be varied or waived so that I may take media questions.
I have made many mistakes in my life, none more so than this. At the time I committed this offence I gave no thought whatsoever to effect it would have on others. I didn’t even enjoy the skinning, although I did learn that it is better to kill the person first.
Following my arrest I wrote letters of apology to the victims expressing my sincere remorse, although the letters were returned unopened, on account of those people being dead. I did all I could.
The regret I feel at the hurt which I unwittingly caused the family of the deceased women is something I carry with me today and will continue to carry for the rest of my life.
I cannot wind back the clock but I sincerely wish that I could.”
I’m surprised no one on Twitter has mentioned the obvious inspirations for Garrett: “The Trial”, “The Judgment” and “In the Penal Colony”, all by Franz Kafka; and “The Gulag Archipelago” and of course “We Never Make Mistakes”, by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn.
And I imagine his version of a book to be kept in the bottom of the wardrobe and brought out only when alone and has a box of tissues handy is something like “A proposal for a penal colony in New Zealand” by Jules de Blosseville.