A Place Beyond The Priory

 "A Place Beyond the Priory " This is a story about Life in North Shields during the 1900's-1920's Tom Farrow is a third generation coble fisherman, Who meets and falls in love with a young herring girl who has travelled from the isle of Barra in the outer Hebrides looking for work. Margaret Linnie, her two friends Kerstin McDonald and Beth Munro all end up on the gutting line in Tyne Brand - their unscrupulous foreman Albert Mortimer treats all the girls on the line like animals including his wife Lizzie who bares him 11 children. forced into a marriage she did not want, Lizzie is abused by Albert for his own sexual gratification. She was in love with a young Greek boy called Leonidas Kostalas whom she had known from her days at school and lost her virginity to but her father will not allow them to marry- this is a story of love and betrayal and will keep you riveted until the last page is read.


94. 94

Martha Jones sat in her office reading the copies of the evidence against Benjamin Leonard. She read through the transcript from the trial looking for a loophole. One line from Ben churned over and over in her head. “It wasn’t me; it was the voices in my head; they made me do it.’

Martha checked for psychiatric reports; he was only examined by a local doctor who deemed that he had no mental illness and that he was fit enough to stand trial. Because he was only fifteen at that time Ben could not face the death penalty. He was given a maximum term under her majesty’s pleasure whereby they could keep Ben locked up indefinitely.

She picked up the telephone and dialled the number of a friend who had graduated in psychology and psychiatry. She had to somehow get Ben reassessed.

Hello, Michael Norton; its Martha Jones.’

“Long time no see Martha; how are you?’

I’m fine; look I need your help.’

“Anything Martha; what is it?

“I am trying to get a case reopened Michael; it involved a young boy called Benjamin Leonard who killed his parents ten years ago.’

“Go on, I’m listening.’

“Well the evidence points to this boy having a mental illness; he suffered abuse by his parents who drummed religion into him day and night. His father beat him and he witnessed sexual acts by his parents as a child which made him question his faith in God.’

“He still went on to kill both his parent’s right?’

Yes but in his defence he said “It wasn’t me; it was the voices in my head; they made me do it.’

That sounds like a paranoid schizophrenic to me?’

Exactly Michael; he was only examined by Doctor Sime a local practitioner who said that he was fit to stand trial. During the trial Ben is heard talking to himself and laughing as he was being questioned. Now are these the actions of a sane person or was there a breakdown something that triggered a response.’

You have a point Martha; look, leave this with me. Where is he being held?’

They’ve got him in Strangeway’s nick Michael.’

I am going to speak with my boss who has more experience in these matters Martha.’ He’s called Professor Edward Drain he been a psychiatrist for forty years and knows the judiciary system inside out. He’s been called many times to give evidence.’

Do you think he can get Benjamin reassessed?’ If we can prove that Benjamin had an illness it may force a retrial.

“I see your point; why do you want to reopen this case Martha?

“I knew the boy in question Michael and he wouldn’t hurt a fly normally.’

 “As I’ve said Martha; I will speak with Professor Edward Drain about this. Do you have a contact number?’

“Yes Michael its 2578613.’

“Are you free for dinner one evening; it would be nice to have a catch up.’

Yes that would be nice; but what would your wife say?’

“This is strictly business Martha he laughed.’

“I bet your wife doesn’t see it like that.’

“There’s nothing wrong with two friends having dinner and a drink together.’

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