Verdicts in trial of West Norfolk family

16:37 14 February 2014

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The Norwich Crown Court jury has returned verdicts on some of the charges involving members of a West Norfolk family and have cleared one man of all offences

The jury hearing the long-running trial involving members of a West Norfolk family, who are accused of kidnapping and beating a man and his pregnant partner, have returned some guilty verdicts in the case but cleared one man of all charges he faced.

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.

The jury which has been out considering verdicts in the case, have not reached any decision on all the charges faced by defendants but cleared Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, of the two remaining charges he faced of kidnap and false imprisonment. He earlier had been cleared on direction of the judge of two wounding charges he also faced.

The jury also found Eddie Dolan, jnr, 18 of Flower Farm Bungalow, Walpole, guilty of kidnapping and false imprisonment of the male victim and Diane Evans, 18, of Cherry Road, Wisbech, was found guilty of the one charge she faced of false imprisonment.

Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walpole St Andrew, was convicted of kidnapping the female victim but the jury are still to reach verdicts on other charges of blackmail, wounding with intent and robbery, she also faces.

A 17 year-old youth who cannot be named for legal reasons was convicted of kidnap and false imprisonment of the woman.

The jury has now been sent home for the weekend and will return on Monday to carry on with their deliberations.

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