Man alleged to have been kidnapped and beaten by West Norfolk family denies involvement in death of their grandmother

18:09 06 January 2014

Gertrude Frankham, who died on December 4, 2012.

Gertrude Frankham, who died on December 4, 2012.

A 41-year-old man, who is alleged to have been kidnapped and beaten by members of a West Norfolk traveller family, denied 100 percent that he had any involvement in the death of their grandmother, a court heard.

The man and his partner, who was heavily pregnant at the time, were both kidnapped on separate occasions and violently assaulted, so that the woman eventually made a false confession that her partner had smothered the grandmother with a pillow and had been stealing from her, Norwich Crown Court heard.

West Norfolk family kidnapped and beat man and his pregnant partner, court hears

John Farmer, prosecuting, said trouble flared after the death of Gertrude Frankham, who died on December at her home in Walpole St Andrew.

He said Mrs Frankham died of natural causes, and this was confirmed after her body was later exhumed, but members of her family got it into their head that she had been murdered.

Giving evidence via a video link, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied any involvement in the death of Mrs Frankham.

He said that he had befriended her and as she was in poor health had done odd errands for her.

He said he had not seen her for a number of days before her death.

Asked by Mr Farmer if he had any involvement in her death he replied: “Definitely not. One hundred percent.”

There are five defendants who have already admitted their part in what happened to the couple.

Other family members who deny any involvement and are 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, Wisbech, who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

Also in the dock are Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, Wisbech who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent and Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walplole 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, who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

More news stories

2 minutes ago
David Neale.

Police searching for a missing man from Outwell have today (Wednesday) found a body in River Nene in Wisbech.

16:39
Chapel road car park.Wisbech.

Police and council officials are working to make sure there is no breach of the peace after about 30 gypsy vans parked at the rugby field in Wisbech.

15:48
Bee Hotel  launched by facet and Sainsburys. Students from Facet with the Mayor of March Rob Skoulding and Michelle Connolly Sainsbury's PR ambassador. Picture: Steve Williams.

Busy bee students were out in force at the side of Sainsbury’s in March to plant a wildlife haven in March town centre.

14:15
Birds nest in tractor engine at  WWT Welney Wetland Centre.

A tractor engine is out of action at the WWT Welney Wetland Centre thanks to a family of pied wagtails and their four chicks ... who have nested in the engine.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wisbech Standard e-edition today E-edition