Woman alleged to have been beaten and kidnapped surrounded by 20 people armed with weapons, court told

16:56 15 January 2014

Gertrude Frankham

Gertrude Frankham

Archant

A woman alleged to have been beaten and kidnapped was surrounded by 20 people armed with weapons, a court heard.

The woman, alleged to have been dragged into a car by members of a Fenland family, was threatened before being shoved into a plastic chair, jurors were told.

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.

Giving evidence via video link on Tuesday the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she was “scared to death” after she had been dragged into a car and threatened by the female driver who hit her and another female passenger who “had something up against my neck which felt like it was metal”.

She told John Farmer, prosecuting, that the occupants of the car were calling her a liar and demanded that she tell them where her partner was.

Despite the threats and attacks she sustained on the 10 minute journey she failed to lead her captors to where her partner was and was then taken back to near where Gertrude Frankham lived where there were about “20 people or more”.

The court heard she was dragged out of the car and “shoved into a chair against some metal railings”.

She said: “I got punched in the side of my head.”

The blow perforated her ear drum meaning she could not hear much.

She said more people joined the group, many with weapons, including scythes, canes, metal poles, wood and a brick, surrounding her in a semi-circle.

She said: “I was punched and hit round the head with canes and poles and I believe there was a brick in my face.”

The victim, who was later dragged off the chair by her hair, said there was also “talk about a gun”.

Mr Farmer said: “Were you aware of anyone having a camera or using a phone as a camera?”

She replied “yes”.

Mr Farmer asked if it was one person or more than one person.

She said: “That was more than one person.”

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

Other family members on trial are Violet Chilton, 57, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, who denies blackmail, false imprisonment and wounding with intent; Edward Dolan, jr, 18, of Flower Farm Bungalow, Walpole who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent; and Thomas Chilton, 29, of Dades Lane, who denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

Also in the dock are Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, 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.

Diane Evans, 18, of Cherry Road, Wisbech, denies one count of false imprisonment, and a 17-year-old denies kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

The trial continues.

1 comment

  • Disgusting but certain members of this family disregard the law and have got away with too much already

    Report this comment

    Sindy

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More news stories

2013: Fields End Water Doddington, new deluxe self catering lodges. official opening by Steve Barclay MP. The site's owners say they will use profits from a housing development to fund the park's expansion.

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay has thrown his weight behind a businessman’s proposal to build 10 homes that planners say will result in “an incremental erosion of the countryside”.

11:43
High Street, Wisbech, damage

A lorry reversing the wrong way up Wisbech High Street left a trail of destruction in its wake this morning.

16:45
Breathalyser.

Revellers may be forced to take a breath test to get into pubs and nightclubs as part of a pilot scheme to combat binge drinking.

15:50
Peterborough Cathedral.

Peterborough Cathedral has been awarded £200,000 to carry out urgent repairs to part of the floor.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

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