Members of Fenland family to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court today for involvement in kidnap and assault of man and his pregnant partner

Library picture of Judge Stephen Holt;  Photo: Bill Smith for EDP Norfolk Library picture of Judge Stephen Holt; Photo: Bill Smith for EDP Norfolk

Thursday, April 3, 2014
12:45 AM

Eleven members of a west Norfolk family who abducted and viciously attacked a man and his heavily 
pregnant partner are due to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court today.

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As the court has previously heard, the victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were separately held against their will and subjected to sustained beatings by the group –putting the woman in fear of losing her baby.

Spanning three generations, those involved in the offences were all related to Gertrude Frankham who died at her home in Walpole St Andrew, aged 75, in December 2012.

Becoming convinced in the months that followed that she had in fact been killed, the attacks were launched by the family in a bid to force a confession from the people they thought were involved, although a police investigation subsequently proved the allegations were unfounded.

Five men and six women, aged between 17 and 57, are to be sentenced at 2pm by Judge Stephen Holt who is expected to pass significant terms of imprisonment.

Six of the defendants were found guilty of a series of charges relating to kidnap, false imprisonment and assaults, following a six-week trial at Norwich Crown Court earlier this year while the other five admitted their involvement prior to the start of the trial in January.

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