Newcastle midfielder/reprobate Joey Barton was sprung from prison earlier today after serving just two months of a half-year stretch for beating someone up in front of a Liverpool McDonald’s. Though it seems a bit mysterious how authorities arrived at the conclusion Barton had seen the error of his ways, the Guardian’s Barney Ronay attempts to imagine just how the parole hearing went down :
INT. A MANCHESTER PRISON. DAY.
A THREE-MAN PAROLE BOARD IS SITTING BEHIND A TABLE INSPECTING A THICK FILE MARKED “BARTON J”. A SULLEN LOOKING MAN WEARING A DENIM SUIT COVERED IN ARROWS IS SEATED BEFORE THEM. HE LOOKS BORED.
Man in suit: “Joseph Anthony Barton, your files say you’ve served 74 days of a six-month sentence. Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?”
Joey Barton: “Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. I don’t have any idea what that means.”
Man in suit: “Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society.”
Joey Barton: “I know what you think it means sonny. To me it’s just a made-up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?”
Man in suit: “Well, are you?”
Joey Barton: “There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this 25-year-old’s all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bull$hit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a sh1t.”
THE MAN IN THE SUIT PRESSES A LARGE RUBBER STAMP INTO AN INK PAD, STAMPS HIS FORM AND LIFTS THE STAMP TO REVEAL THE WORD “APPROVED” IN BLOCK CAPITALS.