Monday, 12 September 2016

Helen In The Dock 6 - We’re Getting Near The End (I hope)

Patricia Gallimore (Pat Archer)

The episode begins with Pat and Tony talking and - you’re not going to believe this, I’m sure - Pat is bordering (from the other side) on the hysterical. Will they have to replace the jury? “We can’t go through this again” Five million listeners chorus ‘too bloody right!’ and Pat says, belatedly, “What would it do to Helen?” Oh yes, forgot about her.

Tom comes in and says Dominic (Helen’s solicitor) showed him the offending Tweet from the juror. What did it say? He can’t remember exactly, but it was along the lines of ‘Sick of man-hating lezzies like Helen Titchener and gonna make sure she goes down.’ These bleeding-heart, left-wing liberals, eh? Pat and Tony are astounded, but Tom says that there are a lot of these trolls about and “the scary thing is that they’re still allowed on a jury.”

Helen talks with Anna, and Helen says that she can’t go through this a second time (we’re all with you there, Helen!). Anna says that they have a strong case for continuing the trial and she’s confident that the judge will not want to abandon the trial, but “we’ll just have to wait and see.”

About half a second later, we learn the results of the Judge’s deliberations and he tells the jury that the offending juror will be discharged and might be prosecuted for Contempt, or torn apart by wild horses, so make sure that you don’t make the same mistake and “don’t let personal prejudice influence you.”

Rob is being (gently) examined by JB - what about Helen’s claim of forced sex? “Completely untrue.” And Jess’s similar claim? In a slightly edgy voice (please note that, jury) he says “A disgusting lie - she’s just out for revenge.” Rob admits he has made mistakes - he took up with Helen while still married to Jess (well, it’s so easy to forget these details, isn’t it?). JB asks if Jess ever tried to jeopardise his relationship with Helen and he speaks about how she claimed the he was the father of her child. Was it true? No, because he took precautions. He adds that “Jess isn’t a well woman and I don’t want to start slinging mud.” Excuse me, but if he had set up home with Helen (admittedly they weren’t married) should he have been bonking Jess anyway?

Was the divorce amicable? No. “Perhaps there’s something about me that makes me attractive to needy, unstable women” (or maybe you’re just good at picking them out, Rob) “but between them, they’ve made my life Hell.” JB tries to tell him that that’s enough, but Rob, in an emotional voice, says that his wounds will heal, but suspicions will follow him for ever. “I didn’t cause any of this and I just want to put this behind me and concentrate on my children: Henry and Gideon have been through enough - they need a safe, loving home. That’s what I’m asking you - begging you - please clear my name.”

Later, during another of the seemingly interminable adjournments, Tony says that the jury lapped up Rob’s ‘doting father’ act. Pat is approaching, but so is Johnny. Who’s looking after the farm and shop? Apparently Jazzer and Neil have it all in hand and Pip will pitch in, assuming she can uncouple from Toby long enough. Tony is very emotional, saying that he didn’t want to put Johnny through this, but Johnny says “I think I should be with you guys.” He adds that this is the first time that the whole family has been in the same room as Helen for God knows how long. “We’re still a family” he says.

Back in the courtroom, it’s time for closing remarks. Prosecution first and JB stresses that Helen answered ‘no comment’ for 36 hours, when questioned. “Is this the action of an abused, traumatised woman?” he asks. He goes on to say that the Defence has failed to present evidence that Rob had ever tried to harm his son - on the contrary, he tried his best to protect his family from the increasingly erratic behaviour of his sick, pregnant wife. Finally, there was Henry’s evidence that his daddy didn’t threaten him. Self defence? No - Helen attacked Rob repeatedly with such force that she was trying to kill him.

The rest of his summary is drowned out by Tony, sobbing and saying “Surely I can’t lose my little girl as well?” Johnny says that this won’t happen; “Helen’s coming home. This is all going to be over - you’ll see.” “Bless you Johnny” says a tearful Tony.

It’s Anna’s turn to sum up and she asks for acquittal on both charges on grounds of self-defence. Without going through all her arguments, she points to the “startling similarity” between Helen and Jess’s accounts of life with Rob (not being allowed to drive, violence - Rob admitted he hit his wife - bullying, mind games, forced sex etc.) Anna describes Helen as “A decent woman of good character. I ask you not to convict her for what any of us might have done in the same situation - protecting her child.”

Judge Loomis tells the jury that it’s up to them how they run their discussions and “You may now retire to deliberate.” I believe that Sunday evening’s episode will last one hour. I hope this trial is over soon, as Neil and my fingers (I’m Peter, by the way) will be worn to the bone if it goes to appeal, retrial, or whatever. Please not!


  1. Thank you all your efforts are very much appreciated!