Annabelle Dowler (Kirsty Miller)
Kirsty and Fallon meet outside the courtroom and Kirsty admits that she’s feeling a bit sick, but says that she is going to tell the truth about Rob – somebody has to. For her part, Fallon is upset that PCB is having to be a witness for the Prosecution, but as he was one of the first on the scene on the night of the stabbing, he has little choice.
In the courtroom, Anna is cross-examining Mr Ellis, the surgeon who saved Rob’s life, the meddling idiot. She eventually gets him to admit grudgingly that two of Rob’s wounds could have been caused accidentally, although he does say it’s unlikely. JB wants to re-examine Ellis and asks him just how serious were Rob’s wounds? Ellis replies that any one of the three main wounds could have been potentially fatal and that Rob is fortunate to be alive.
JB’s next witness is Henry Archer, whose testimony was filmed during an interview with a policewoman three days after the incident. Henry tells her that “mummy gets upset and cries sometimes.” He says he doesn’t know where mummy got the knife from and that mummy and daddy were fighting. “Daddy was angry – he was shouting” Henry says that Rob was shouting at him, for being naughty in coming downstairs before morning. During the lunch recess, Tom and Fallon talk – they saw Helen break down when Henry’s image appeared on the screen; she was in bits and it was tearing her heart out.
After lunch it is Kirsty’s turn in the witness box and JB is having trouble getting her to stick to the subject and just answer the question. Why didn’t Kirsty go over to see Helen when she first rang that night? Because Helen said that she was OK. When Kirsty did go over, after Helen’s second phone call, what did Helen say? Kirsty replies that Helen was hyperventilating and JB once again reminds her to just answer the question and not give opinions. Kirsty noticed that Rob was still breathing and she called an ambulance and tried to stop the bleeding – as we said at the time, this was a golden opportunity squandered, as another stab wound on the body would not have excited comment, but Kirsty blew it (not that we could ever condone violence of course). JB interrupts Kirsty and asks what was Helen doing at this time; did she make any attempt to help save her husband’s life? No, replies Kirsty, but she adds that Helen was traumatised and had to look after Henry, which earned her another telling off from JB. In another response, Kirsty says that the only thing Helen intended to do was to escape – “she couldn’t breathe in that house, that’s why I gave her the mobile’ she couldn’t use her own mobile because Rob was monitoring it.”
Time for Anna’s cross-examination. Was it true, as the Prosecution had been implying, that Helen and Kirsty were in some sort of plot against Rob? Definitely not. Kirsty: “I was worried about my friend – when I came back to Ambridge, I hardly recognised her. Helen always adored her work, but Rob made her give it up. The saddest part was that she still loved him, even when she had decided to leave.” Kirsty also says that Helen told her that Rob made her choose and she had to stop him. Anna asks how Kirsty interpreted those words and her reply is “It’s obvious – he attacked her.”
This is all too much for JB, who objects to this line of questioning, as the witness is being invited to speculate. The Judge agrees, but Kirsty’s dander is up now and she says “What else could it mean?” Fortunately she doesn’t add ‘you stupid, pompous, near-sighted, geriatric old fool’, or it could have gone badly for her. As it is, she is not stopping now and, seething, says “Look at him, sitting there, shaking his head. I’m telling you, Rob Titchener is the worst kind of abuser because he doesn’t leave any bruises. He lies, bullies and manipulates – he tried to destroy my best friend and he’s still doing it!” There is a ripple of applause round the courtroom and Judge Loomis is exercising his gavel-banging talents. In a distinctly arsey voice, he threatens “Any more outbursts and you will be held in Contempt. Is that understood?” Defiant to the last, Kirsty retorts sharply “That’s fine by me – I’ve said what I came here to say.” There should have been a rapturous round of applause here, but, sadly, the theme music played.
Let’s hear it for Kirsty! Whether it will do any good or not is a moot point, but her condemnation of Rob contrasted sharply with his hand-wringing, ‘why has everybody got it in for me?’ performance in the witness box yesterday and maybe one or two seeds of doubt will have been planted in a few jurors’ minds.