A member of a Fenland family has denies any involvement in the kidnap and assault of a couple when he went into the witness box in his defence.

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A member of a Fenland family accused of being involved in the kidnap and assault of a couple, denied playing any part in what took place.

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

It is alleged the woman, who was heavily pregnant and her partner, 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 Thomas Chilton, 29, of Dades Lane, Wisbech denied being involved in what took place and said he disagreed with what happened and said:”As far as I know my gran died peacefully,”

Asked by his barrister Mark Tomassi if he kidnapped the man he replied: “No I did not.”

He also denied he had falsely imprisoned anyone or had beaten or slapped the woman.

Asked if had laid a finger on the woman he replied: “No.”

Five other defendants have already admitted their part in what happened to the couple and Thomas Chilton admitted he had seen the woman slapped and questioned but had tried to intervene to stop her being assaulted.

He said: “I did not agree with what was going on. I did not believe for a moment my gran was killed. As far as I was concerned she died peacefully.”

He denied he was a violent or vengeful man and said he had never assaulted the woman and instead had tried to protect her for any further violence.

“I did what I thought was the right thing at the time. What happened was a nasty scene.”

Other family members on trial are Violet Chilton, 57, of Dades Lane, who denies blackmail, false imprisonment and wounding with intent; 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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