ONE MONTH LATER
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
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
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...