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Jury sent home for a second night in the trial of West Norfolk family

17:18 13 February 2014

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The jury in the long-running trial of a West Norfolk family, accused of kidnapping and beating a man and his pregnant partner, has been sent home for a second night.

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Members of the jury are due to resume their deliberations tomorrow morning, after so far spending ten hours and 57 minutes considering multiple charges brought against seven defendants.

In a trial which has lasted six weeks, 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 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.

Five defendants have already admitted their part in what happened to the couple but other family members, who deny any involvement, have been on trial for the past six weeks.

Those on trial are Violet Chilton, 57, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, 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; Thomas Chilton, 29, of Dades Lane, who denies kidnap, false imprisonment wounding with intent and Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, who denies kidnap and false imprisonment.

Also in the dock are Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walpole St Andrew, who denies kidnap, blackmail, wounding with intent and robbery.

Diane Evans, 18, of Cherry Road, Wisbech, denies one count of false imprisonment and a 17 year-old, who cannot be named, denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

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