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    Written by: Ian Coughlan   Produced by: Posie Jacobs   Directed by: Chris Sheil


In Sydney, Gordon, Fiona and Susan are standing on the steps outside a courthouse. Gordon murmurs to Fiona, "I don't know whether I can get through this." Fiona, however, insists, "You're going to be fine - and so is Beryl. The prosecution's got no real evidence." Gordon points out, "Neither have we; that's the problem. It wouldn't be the first time that a jury has convicted somebody on circumstantial evidence." Fiona tells him, "We've got to be positive. This is only the first day. What's Beryl going to feel if we go in there looking like she's already lost?" Gordon growls, "We shouldn't be here in the first place; it's absurd. She's never even hurt anybody, let alone tried to kill them." Andy walks over to them at that moment and says flatly, "I just want to say I hope everything turns out OK." Gordon mutters, "Thankyou." Picking up on his tone, Andy insists, "It's not my idea being a crown witness; I was subpoenaed; I couldn't get out of it." Fiona mutters sourly, "I wonder how hard you tried." Andy cries, "Come on! I don't want to testify against Beryl; why would I?" Gordon just sighs, "It's alright, Andy. If you say so. It doesn't matter anyway." At that moment, a police car pulls up in the road. Gordon stares at it and then comments, "That's Beryl now. I'm going to try and talk to her." He dashes over to the car. Beryl is just climbing out, accompanied by two male police officers." Gordon goes to approach her, but one of the officers holds up his hands to stop Gordon getting any closer. A few yards away, Fiona looks at Susan in concern. Susan murmurs, "It's alright: mum will get off; I know she will."

A short time later, Susan and Fiona are walking down a corridor inside. They stop outside Courtroom 2 as Fiona remarks, "As I'm not needed as a witness, I suppose I'd better go straight in." Before she can move, though, Alison walks up to them. Fiona comments grimly, "If it isn't the head vulture herself." Alison ignores her. She looks at Susan and asks, "Have they started yet?" Susan just replies, "No." Fiona heads off into the courtroom. Susan walks off down the corridor. Alison finds herself alone - but only for a few seconds, as Nick walks towards her, suddenly, smiling, "I hoped you'd be here." Alison sighs heavily, looking annoyed. Nick goes on, "I've been trying to get in touch with you for weeks. I've been to the house... I've left messages..." Alison mutters, "I can't talk now." Nick, however, retorts, "Yes you can. Why the cold shoulder, all of a sudden?" Alison retorts, "You know why." Nick sighs, "So I had an argument with your sister. For heaven's sake, it was just a heat-of-the-moment thing." Alison, however, retorts, "No, it was more than that: obviously the two of you just didn't like each other." Nick demands, "What if we don't? It's how you and I feel that matters." Alison mutters, "You just don't understand." Nick tells her, "No argument there. The way I read things, you feel something for me and vice versa - so why the hell do we need your sister's approval?" Alison snaps, "Because her opinion means a lot to me. I don't want to see her upset." Nick shrugs, "Alright - I'll apologise to her." Alison growls, "You wouldn't mean it, would you?" Nick sighs, "Come on, it was just a misunderstanding. She's a nice lady. She's very attractive. I'm sure I'd like her a lot if I got to know her better." A hint of a smile crosses Alison's face. She then suggests, "Maybe we can talk about it another time - but not now." With that, she walks off.

Inside the courtroom, the prosecution barrister is saying to Gordon, "You told us your wife was distressed when she left your home on the day of the shooting." Gordon, sitting in the witness box, nods, "Yes." The barrister continues, "You assumed this was due to your daughter's medical condition." Gordon retorts, "I did not 'assume' it; I knew it." The barrister asks, "How?" Gordon says, "Susan had just lost her baby. Obviously my wife was upset; we all were." The barrister asks, "Could this agitation just as easily have been the result of some other emotion? Grim determination, for instance." The defence barrister calls out suddenly, "Objection, your honour. Prosecution is putting words in the witness's mouth." The Judge nods, "Sustained. The question is disallowed." Gordon says, "The answer's 'no', anyway." The prosecution barrister goes on, "You believed your wife when she said she was going to the hospital?" Gordon replies, "Of course. That's where she went." The barrister retorts, "Perhaps at first - but you have no idea where else she planned to go, did you?" Gordon says curtly, "She wasn't planning to go anywhere. If she was, I would've known." The barrister points out curtly, "I need hardly remind you she went to the home of the victim." Gordon retorts, "She thought Susan might be there." Beryl looks down at the floor from where she's sitting at one side of the court. The prosecution barrister asks Gordon, "Why didn't you accompany your wife to the hospital?" Gordon explains, "I thought they might need some time alone - her and Susan." The barrister presses, "Surely at a time like that your wife needed all the support she could get?" Gordon, however, replies, "No. She said that I should stay." There's a dramatic pause. Fiona looks at Gordon. Beryl does likewise. The barrister then repeats slowly, "She said that you should stay home. Was it your wife's idea that you not accompany her to the hospital that day?" Gordon murmurs, "I can't remember." The barrister persists, "Surely, if it was your idea, then you would remember?" Gordon snaps, "I don't know." The Judge says quickly, "There's no need for the witness to raise his voice." Gordon looks back at the barrister and says calmly, "It was no one's idea. I just didn't go." The barrister remarks triumphantly, "That is a pity. If you had, you might be able to give us a slightly better account of your wife's movements that day. As it is, you don't seem to have the faintest idea where she was or what she was doing." Gordon looks at Beryl, guiltily.

There's a knock on the front door at Charlie's. Pamela goes and opens it to find a delivery man standing on the step, holding a bunch of flowers. The man tells Pamela, "Flowers for Miss. Carr." Pamela replies, "She's not here at the moment. I'll take them." She signs the docket, takes the flowers and closes the door. She then goes and puts the flowers down on the hall table and takes out the note that's accompanying them. She reads it. She then rips it into little pieces...

At the court, the prosecution barrister is saying to Gordon, "Well now, you tell us your wife had no motive to attack your son." Gordon nods, "That's right." The barrister goes on, "But you did say she was upset about her daughter losing the baby" Gordon replies, "Yes." The barrister continues, "I don't suppose there's any remote chance she might hold your son responsible?" Gordon retorts, "Of course not; it was an accident." The barrister muses, "Yes... I understand there was some confusion about that, initially." Gordon mutters, "Not that I'm aware of." The barrister carries on tersely, "So even though your wife hated Mr. Hamilton and was totally opposed to her daughter marrying him, you're confident she didn't blame him for the baby's death?" Gordon nods, "Completely." The barrister presses, "But you do admit she hated Mr. Hamilton and she did oppose the marriage." Gordon retorts, "I did not say that." The barrister points out, "You didn't deny it." Gordon tells him, "You didn't ask me." The barrister says curtly, "I'm asking you now." Gordon just says calmly, "My son has a very abrasive personality; a lot of people dislike him." The barrister suggests, "Including your wife." Gordon retorts, "Not enough to kill him. My wife is not a murderer." The barrister then says to the Judge, "No further questions, Your Honour." Gordon snaps suddenly, "My wife is not a murderer." The Judge warns quickly, "Witness will step down." Gordon, however, retorts, "Not until somebody listens to me. She shouldn't be here. It's ridiculous that she's charged." The Judge just tells him curtly, "Mr. Hamilton, if you don't step down and be quiet, I'll charge you with contempt of court." Gordon mutters, "If putting an innocent woman through all this isn't contemptible, I don't know what is." The Judge warns curtly, "Witness will step down and be silent. This is a court of law." Gordon growls, "In which my wife does not belong. You call this justice?" The Judge says coldly, "Mr. Hamilton, this is your last warning. One more word and I will charge you with contempt." Gordon looks across at Beryl, but remains silent.

A while later, Alison is sitting in the witness box, being questioned by Beryl's defence barrister. He says to Alison, "Miss. Carr, clearly on the day in question a lot happened very quickly: the victim's wife had been injured... you and other people had spent long hours at the hospital... presumably you'd had little sleep... and under those circumstances, you could easily be confused about what someone did or did not say." Alison, however, retorts, "I'm not confused. She said to him, 'Someone should stop you before you hurt someone else.'" The barrister suggests, "If we accept the defendant said that, that hardly constitutes a death threat. She could easily have meant that he should lose his driver's licence, for example." Alison tells him, "Not the way she said it." The barrister continues, "The prosecution referred earlier to some confusion about the circumstances surrounding Mrs. Susan Hamilton's accident. My own enquiries suggest that the confusion stemmed from something you said. Is that correct?" Alison shrugs, "What do you mean?" The barrister tells her, "You initially said Mr. Hamilton deliberately tried to run down his wife." The prosecution barrister jumps to his feet suddenly and cries, "Objection, Your Honour." The defence barrister, however, explains, "Your Honour, I'm trying to establish that the witness's interpretation of events isn't entirely reliable." The Judge nods warily, "Very well. Proceed." Alison tells the defence barrister, "There may have been some confusion about the accident, but not what was said at the hospital. Anyway, I wasn't the only one there; why don't you ask Dr. Benson?" The barrister says quickly, "Yes. Thankyou. No more questions." Alison smiles to herself...

Pamela is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Charlie's, reading a magazine. The delivery of flowers is set out on the coffee table in front of her. The front door bangs suddenly and Alison walks in. Pamela smiles, "Hi! How did it go?" Alison tells her, "Not too good, I'm afraid. The general feeling is that people are lying to protect her." She sits down as Pamela asks, "Did you give evidence?" Alison nods, "Yes. They asked me about the threat at the hospital." Pamela asks, "What did you say?" Alison replies, "I had to admit I'd heard it. I said it wasn't meant as a threat but just something someone would say in that situation." She then notices the flowers and asks, "Who are these from?" Pamela tells her, "Nick." Alison smiles, "He tried to apologise to me at the courthouse today; I guess this is the follow-up." Pamela, however, tells her, "As as matter of fact, they're for me." Looking taken aback momentarily, Alison comments, "Oh. Then he's probably trying to apologise to you for that argument." Pamela shrugs, "Could be. Here's the card." She picks up a small piece of card and hands it to Alison, who reads, "Sorry. Sometimes I make a bad first impression. I'd love to get to know you better." Pamela comments, "It was pretty rough throwing him out. Maybe he thinks he stands a better chance with me?" Alison, however, murmurs, "No, I'd say he's trying to get back into my good books." Pamela points out, "He does say he wants to get to know me better..." Alison explains, "I think he's using a bit of reverse psychology; probably hoping I'll get jealous and run back to him. Yes, that'd be it..." Pamela stares at her, looking annoyed.

At the courtroom, the defence barrister is saying to Nick, who's sitting in the witness box, "Dr. Benson, could you describe for us the defendant's recollections under hypnosis?" Nick nods, "Yes. I took her back to the day of the shooting. She naturally remembered going to the house and finding her son-in-law - but she also recalled that someone else had been at the scene." The barrister asks, "Can she identify this person?" Nick replies, "She didn't see the person's face; all she caught was a brief glimpse of the hand as it disappeared around the side of the house - as though the person was trying to sneak away from the scene. The person was wearing a distinctive ring, and under hypnosis Mrs. Hamilton was able to give a detailed description of the ring." The barrister picks up a sheet of paper from the desk in front of him. The sheet of paper has a sketch of the ring on it, and the barrister asks Nick if he'd say it was an accurate representation of the ring as described to him by the defendant. Nick nods, "Yes." The barrister then says, "If it please the court, I tender this as Exhibit D." The prosecution barrister, however, stands up and says curtly to the Judge, "I object, Your Honour. I fail to see what relevance this has." The defence barrister retorts quickly, "Your Honour, I would have thought the presence of a third party at the scene of the shooting was highly relevant." The Judge nods, "Agreed. I shall allow the exhibit." The defence barrister says, "Thankyou. No more questions, Your Honour." The Judge tells Nick, "You may step down, Dr. Benson." The prosecution barrister says quickly, however, "Your Honour, permission to re-examine the witness." The Judge nods, "Very well. Proceed." The barrister then looks at Nick and goes on, "Dr. Benson, am I correct in saying that there is no completely reliable test of whether a person is under hypnosis or not?" Nick starts to reply, "There are a number of indications--" The barrister interrupts and says curtly, "Indications - but no absolute and indisputable test." Nick tells him, "In my opinion, Mrs. Hamilton was--" The barrister interrupts again and says, "We've heard your professional opinion, doctor. The point I'm making is: that's all it is - an opinion." Nick shrugs, "Fine - but the same also applies to my previous testimony on Wayne Hamilton: his recollection that it was Mrs. Hamilton that shot him is equally open to question." The Judge chips in suddenly, "I must caution the witness: it's not his place to conduct argument on behalf of the defence." The prosecution barrister, however, says, "If it please Your Honour, I'm prepared to pursue that line." The Judge nods, "Very well." The barrister turns back to Nick and says, "I put it to you that Mr. Wayne Hamilton, being the victim of the attempted shooting, would have no reason to lie under hypnosis; the defendant, on the other hand would have every reason. I further put it to you that there is every possibility that she was, in fact, not hypnotised, and that the matter of the alleged ring is a total fiction." Nick declares, "In my opinion, that is not true." The barrister points out, "But you can't be sure. Can you?" Nick admits, "No." The barrister then says, "No further questions, Your Honour." Gordon stands up suddenly from where he's sitting next to Fiona, and heads outside. Fiona looks at him in concern.

Susan is sitting out in the corridor when Gordon emerges from the courtroom. She dashes over to him and asks, "What's happening?" Gordon tells her, "I had to get out of there; if I didn't, I'd be shouting at the Judge again!" Susan asks in concern, "Is it going mum's way or not?" Gordon, however, sighs, "I really don't know, Susan. I can't believe all this is happening..." At that moment, Wayne wanders over to them. Gordon glares at him and growls, "You decided to show up. Gutless wonder." Wayne smiles, "That's not fair!" Gordon, however, says coldly, "You know perfectly well that Beryl didn't do it. If you don't get up there and say something, I'll personally break your neck." Wayne retorts, "All I can do is tell the truth." Gordon, however, snarls, "Truth? If you knew the meaning of the word, none of us would be here now. I'll promise you this, and you'd better believe I mean it: if my wife goes to jail, I won't rest until you're locked up in her place." With that, he storms off, leaving Wayne alone with Susan. Before they can speak, though, the prosecution barrister emerges from the courtroom and tells Wayne, "The Judge has just called an adjournment." The two of them step away from Susan as the barrister goes on quietly, "You'll be one of the first up in the morning, so I want you to be clear in your mind what you're going to say. We've virtually got this case won and I don't want anything to go wrong." Wayne assures him, "It won't." The barrister nods, "Good. I'll see you tomorrow." He walks off. As soon as he's gone, Susan marches back over to Wayne and snaps, "I want it to stop - now." Wayne just asks lightly, "What stopped?" Susan growls, "Don't play stupid, Wayne." Wayne shrugs, "OK. I assume you're talking about your mother. If you want her cleared, you know my terms." Susan says quickly, "Alright, you can have the money." Wayne asks, "All of it?" Susan retorts, "Yes. I'll sign the lot over. Just tell them that mum didn't do it." Wayne smiles, "Now we're getting somewhere. But I've had time to think about it and I'm afraid my price has gone up." Susan gasps in horror, "What?" Wayne insists, "Don't worry: all I want is what's rightfully mine." Susan retorts, "I told you: you can have the money. I don't have anything else; certainly nothing that belongs to you." Wayne, however, smiles, "Yes you do: you." Susan gasps, "What?" Wayne tells her, "You sign the money over to me and come back to me as my wife, otherwise there's no deal." Susan hisses in disbelief, "Wayne, if this is your idea of a joke..." Wayne tells her, "I've never been more serious." Susan snaps, "Then you can forget it. I'd rather kill myself." Wayne shrugs, "That's up to you - but it's not going to help your mother." Susan snarls, "You're bluffing. You wouldn't throw all that money away just for one more chance to humiliate me." Wayne retorts, "You mightn't realise how much it means to have you back - but go ahead and try me; you've got nothing to lose - except your mother..." With that, he walks off, leaving Susan looking stunned.

A while later, Beryl is standing in the prisoners' waiting room at the courthouse. The door to the room opens and Susan is escorted in by a guard. As she sits down with Beryl, Beryl murmurs, "Things aren't going too well, are they?" Susan tells her quickly, "It's only the first day, mum; the prosecutor won't have it his own way the whole time." Beryl murmurs, "He certainly has so far; every time someone says something in my favour, he twists it around. He even said I was lying about seeing that hand." Susan comments, "I suppose that's his job." Beryl, however, retorts, "What sort of a job is it sending innocent people to jail?" She goes on, "The thing that hurts most, though, is the insinuations. I don't deny that there have been times when I wanted to harm Wayne. I haven't actually done anything; if I had, I wouldn't lie about it." Susan nods, "I know, mum, I know." She clasps her mother's hand as she then goes on, "Look, I know I shouldn't be talking to you like this, but when they put you on the stand, that's your chance to tell the truth. As long as you stick to it, no matter what the prosecutor says, the jury will believe you." Beryl, however, sighs, "Oh, Susie, of course they won't. They've already made up their minds; I can see it in their faces. They think I'm guilty and that's exactly what the verdict will be. There's only one thing that can change that... and that's too much to hope for." Susan asks, "What's that?" Beryl replies, "If the killer tries again; has another attempt on Wayne - then they'd know it couldn't be me." A thoughtful look crosses Susan's face as Beryl cries, "Oh my God... can you see the sort of straws I'm clutching at?" Susan sympathises, "I know, mum. I know. Like I said, it's only the first day. Before the trial's over, anything could happen..."

It's evening-time. Alison is sitting on the couch in the lounge room at Charlie's, working on some papers. Susan wanders in, suddenly, and Alison comments, "You're late." Susan explains, "I've been out walking; trying to think." Alison tells her, "I'm off to bed as soon as I've finished these accounts. Pamela's already gone." Susan says, "I'll probably get an early night myself." As Alison looks at the company chequebook, she remarks suddenly, "You've made out some cheques here to a Clive Greer. I can't work out what they're for." Susan, looking shocked, demands, "What are you doing going through my chequebook?" Alison, however, points out, "It is a company account; not exactly private and confidential. Why so scratchy?" Susan sighs quickly, "Nothing. It's just been a bad day." Alison murmurs, "Yes, well..." She then asks again, "So, what are the cheques for?" Susan hesitates before replying, "A couple of gambling debts. He's a bookie." Alison groans, "Oh, Susan. I thought you said you've given all that up." Susan, however, retorts angrily, "If there's one thing I'm not in the mood for tonight, it's a lecture. It's my money; I'll do anything I like with it." Alison stares at her. She then stands up and declares, "Yes, well, I think I'll call it a night. See you in the morning." With that, she heads off to bed. When she's gone, Susan picks up the telephone and dials a number. The call is answered and she says, "Mr. Greer, it's Susan Hamilton. Look, if anyone calls and asks you about the money, could you say you're my bookmaker?... Yes, that's right. It's important... Good. Thanks. Bye." She hangs up, looking relieved...

Beryl is pacing the floor of her cell at the Bendala Detention Centre. She's wearing a dressing gown. Another inmate appears in the doorway suddenly and taunts, "What's the matter? Things not going so good? You might as well face it, sweet-lips, but you're going to be in here for the next twenty years - not that you'll last that long, a wimp like you." Beryl, not looking at her, mutters, "Just go away and leave me alone." The woman, however retorts, "Who's going to make me, now? Big Pam's not around anymore, and Daphne and her mates... they couldn't care much one way or the other." Beryl looks at her and warns coldly, "If I have to, I can take care of myself." The woman, however, laughs, "That'll be the day! There's dozens of women in here who'll eat you on toast any time they feel like it - and I can bet you they will. Now, if I was you, I'd be looking for a way out. For a small fee, maybe I can help." Beryl snaps, "What are you talking about?" The woman removes a small bottle of pills from her dressing gown and replies, "These. A couple of handfuls of these inside you and you won't feel a thing. Be all over before you know it." Beryl glares at her and then retorts, "You have got the wrong woman. I mightn't be tough in your terms, but I'm certainly no coward. If you want me out of the way, you're going to have to fight first." The inmate warns, "You'll be begging for them soon enough - and next time, the price will be right up. Sleep tight..." With that, she walks out.

It's the middle of the night. Beryl is lying in bed, having a nightmare in which the Judge says, "Beryl Aileen Hamilton, you've been found guilty of attempted murder. I hereby sentence you to twenty years in prison, hard labour." Beryl dreams of the cell door slamming shut. She grabs the bars with her hands and starts crying, "Let me out, let me out, let me out. I didn't do it." She then dreams of the female inmate laughing nastily, "I told you! There's only one way out... might as well take them now, while you can still smile..." The dream changes suddenly to Susan standing in a darkened room, holding her hands up and crying, "Mum... mum... help me... Please, help me, mum..." Beryl wakes up suddenly and sits up in bed, panting heavily.

The next morning, Susan is standing outside the courthouse. Gordon, Fiona and the defence barrister are wandering along nearby, and Gordon says to the barrister, "You're experienced at reading juries. What chances do you think she has?" The barrister replies, "We haven't lost yet, but I do think we should plan a new strategy. We'll get together and discuss it later." Andy joins them suddenly and asks, "How's it going?" Fiona just mutters, "Hello, Andy." None of them is aware that the sights of a rifle are focussed on them. The sights then moves across to where Susan is standing, alone. A rifle is being held by a gloved pair of hands. Wayne joins Susan suddenly and asks lightly, "Thought over what we talked about?" Susan snaps, "There's nothing to think over. I said I'll give you the money; anything more than that and you can forget it." Wayne comments, "I thought you cared about your mother." Susan snaps, "I do - very much - and I'll find a way to save her, but there's nothing that would ever force me to live with you again." She walks off as Wayne smiles, "We'll see." Left standing alone, Wayne is the perfect target for the gunman. A shot rings out suddenly - but it misses Wayne and hits a pool of water next to him. Looking shocked, Wayne dives for cover on the ground. A short distance away, Gordon tells Fiona and Andy quickly, "Get inside, everybody." Fiona cries, "Oh my God." Wayne stays crouched down on the ground as further shots ring out...


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