Crown Court (1972–1984)
3 Jan. 1984Gingerbread Girl: Part 1
Wendy Grant agreed to bear a baby for the Breakspears, a childless couple, for £6500, an agreement illegal in English Law. The baby, Anna, was born with a serious but treatable heart defect, and the Breakspears withdrew from the deal. Anna was then left outside their house before dawn on a cold morning; she suffered exposure and died. Mrs. Grant is now charged with murder, the prosecution claiming that she abandoned the child knowing she would come to serious harm or die. She asserts her innocence. She admits she was angry with the Breakspears and left the baby for ...
17 Jan. 1984The Son of His Father: Part 1
Mary Ginsel stands accused of blackmailing her local MP Sir Roland Richardson. The Prosecution allege that Miss Ginsel falsely accused Sir Roland, whom she met at her philately society, of being the father of her young son and then threatened to expose him to the press if he did not pay her maintenance. Miss Ginsel admits that she asked him for money but says this was justified because he was the father of her child and that she made no threats towards him.
24 Jan. 1984Whisper Who Dares: Part 1
Ministry of Defence worker Joseph Guilfoyle and journalist Robert McBride are jointly charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act. The Prosecution claim that Guilfoyle removed a file from the Huckstone Edge research centre where he worked and passed it to McBride who then published details in the radical magazine "The Outsider". They claim that McBride is a communist agent working for Polish intelligence. Both men assert their innocence and argue they were solely motivated by their unhappiness at what they saw as harmful research at the centre including ...
31 Jan. 1984Citizens: Part 1
Joseph Kiernan, a scrap metal dealer from a traveller background, is accused of the theft of a copper cylinder from the shed of Ronald Sibley. The Prosecution say that Kiernan was seen after midnight in the garden of Mr. Sibley and the next morning was seen by a police officer hiding the cylinder under his lorry. Kiernan does not deny handling the cylinder or being in Mr. Sibley's garden but says the cylinder was planted to incriminate him and he was simply retrieving it - the case against him is motivated by hostility towards travellers.
21 Feb. 1984There Was an Old Woman: Part 1
Alice Atha died at the age of 73. A post mortem revealed signs of emaciation and tuberculous meningitis. Her daughter Grace Barber and son-in-law Harry Barber are accused of her manslaughter through neglect. They allege that the couple were indifferent to her welfare, leading to her starvation which triggered the meningitis for which they failed to seek medical help. The Barbers deny the charges. The Defence case is that Mrs. Atha chose not to eat despite their best efforts and that - while lethargic and weak - she did not display signs of significant illness before ...
22 Feb. 1984There Was an Old Woman: Part 2
23 Feb. 1984There Was an Old Woman: Part 3
28 Feb. 1984Burnt Futures: Part 1
Sixth former Sam Tait signed a confession to police admitting that he set fire to his school. He has now retracted that statement and asserts that he was pressurised by police into admitting arson. The prosecution argue that Tait has a long record of disobedience and disaffection at school and his school file shows him as having been punished for starting a fire two years earlier. However he denies the offence and says he has an alibi that he had been in a lesson until moments before the fire. He then went to smoke in the toilets with a friend and would have had no ...
6 Mar. 1984Mother Figures: Part 1
Antiques dealer Stephen Hodges is accused of assault causing actual bodily harm against Jacqueline Coombes, the estranged wife of his partner Andrew Coombes. He is accused of striking her following an argument when she came round to visit Mr. Coombes. Hodges denies the charge and says he didn't hit Mrs. Coombes. The defence accept that she was injured but that she sustained the injuries falling outside.
20 Mar. 1984Love and War: Part 1
An unusual relationship developed between arms dealer Russell Steadman and CND campaigner and feminist Hilary Rogers. She now has a strong antipathy towards him. Indeed she has accused him of deliberately driving his car at her causing her serious injuries. He is now on trial facing the charge of grievous bodily harm. He does not deny he struck her in his car but insists the incident was entirely accidental, resulting from poor visibility on the night in question when she was wearing dark clothing and moved into his path.