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Wisbech woman on trial for false imprisonment, wounding with intent and blackmail denies involvement in kidnap case

17:08 04 February 2014

Norwich Crown Court

Norwich Crown Court

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A woman who is part of a Fenland family accused of being involved in the kidnap and assault of two victims said she felt “betrayed” after finding items belonging to her late mother had been taken from her home but insisted she was not involved in the offences.

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Norwich Crown Court has heard how trouble flared after the death of Gertrude Frankham, in December 2012, at her home in Walpole St Andrew.

It is alleged a woman, who was heavily pregnant and her partner, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were kidnapped on separate occasions and assaulted so she made a false confession that her partner had smothered the grandmother with a pillow and had been stealing from her.

Giving evidence today, Violet Chilton, 57, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, said she and other family members went to an antiques shop in Long Sutton in April last year with other family members to try and find items that had gone missing from her late mother’s home.

Chilton, who denies blackmail, false imprisonment and wounding with intent, said she found items belonging to her mother in the shop including a clock and a bugle.

The jury heard Chilton had seen a picture of the alleged male victim with the clock in his hands.

When asked by her defence barrister Thomas Buxton what was on her mind when she saw the picture she replied “betrayed”.

When asked if she had a conversation with the man’s partner about the clock Chilton said she did but the woman said she did not know about it.

The woman told Chilton that her partner had been “beaten up”, was in hospital in intensive care and might die.

Mr Buxton asked Chilton if she knew the man had been beaten up. She replied: “No.”

When asked if she had anything to do with the alleged kidnap of the male victim or if she had any knowledge of any plan to carry out such an act she said “no”.

Chilton also denied saying anything that prevented the woman from leaving her home.

Five other defendants have already admitted their part in what happened to the couple.

Other family members on trial are Edward Dolan, jnr, 18, of Flower Farm Bungalow, Walpole, who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent, and Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walpole St Andrew, who denies kidnap, blackmail, wounding with intent and robbery.

Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, has denied kidnap and false imprisonment and Diane Evans, 18 of Cherry Road, Wisbech, denies one

count of false imprisonment and a 17 year-old who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

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