Four young boys are accused with robbery. one of them with murder, Hanging in Britain was still prevalent at that time. Can one of them escape the hangman's noose?'
Ruby White the petite honey blonde who works in a chemist shop spends her lunch break reading poetry in the local library. it is there that she meets Richard Llewellyn Shaw a writer and poet from Wales who has come to the North East to write a book. A relationship develops even though he is eight years her senior.
Then there is Jessie Longworth who has been saddled with looking after her father who is in the early stages of dementia. She is unable to cope with looking after her father, and her family and asks her brother Edward if he will take her father for a while. Joe Corder is an ex-dock worker. He worked hard all his life and gives his son his savings to help him start his own business. He meets Elizabeth who comes from a well to do family who all look down on Jessie and her father. She will not have him in her home.


8. 8

 Six screws stood in the dining hall three either side watching everyone.

They went along like a human conveyor belt picking up bread one pat of butter, Porridge, one egg, and a homemade sausage.

What ever you took you had to eat. Waste was not tolerated here.

Albert took the advice from Tommy and he ate the tasteless plate of gue on his stainless steel tray with several compartments. The blue plastic spoons were given out and counted. You used the same spoon for everything. Once breakfast was served the screws only gave you fifteen minutes to eat it. The prisoners filed out table by table and were led back to their cell and the doors were locked.

You were not allowed to sit on your bunk during the daylight hours.

It was just after eight when Albert was called. He was marched to the office where he stripped then had to put on his clothes that he had gone to court in the day before. He was told to sit and wait for the others.

By eight thirty the four lads were back in the prison van handcuffed and taken back to Newcastle Crown Court where the second day of the trial got underway.

The Jury was told of how the boys had driven into the factory when the guard had gone to relieve himself and they had helped themselves to several thousands of packets of Woodbine cigarettes and hand rolled cigars and pipe smoking tobacco which they planned to sell on. They had tried to get away in the van but the guard stood in their path blocking their way out. Alan had been dragged out of the van then punched to the ground and when Banister tried to hit him again he had picked up the lead pipe and hit him with it. The manager Mr Graham Barlow had given an account of how the boys had jemmied the locks off the doors and got inside the warehouse and stolen valuable stock worth several hundreds of pounds. The police could not account for the loss of some of the cigarettes and told the jury that when the two young men ran off they must have taken some of the cigarettes with them. Both the manager of HO Wills LTD and the police had lied. When the police informed the manager that the warehouse had been broken into and the guard had died. He drove to the factory double quick and filled the boot of his car with as many cigarettes as it would hold. The police themselves took several cartons of cigarettes from the van after making the arrest of the two boys. They weren’t bothered because the insurance company would compensate them for the loss.

The evidence that the boys gave did not correspond to what the Manager had said or what the police had recovered from the van.

The police said that they must have made a stop before they were apprehended at Billy Mill.

“The boys swore that this wasn’t the case and that the police were lying.

Both councils gave their final summing up before the jury was sent out to deliberate. They had to prove that Alan Stoneman had set out to kill John Banister without a reasonable doubt.

The four young men were held in the cells for over three hours whilst the jury made its decision. It was the longest three hours of Alan Stoneman’s life.

“When they were called the police led the four back into the dock where they all stood. All had sweaty palms as the foreman of the jury stepped forward.

Judge Christopher Alan Lindsay asked if they had reached a verdict on which they all had agreed upon and the foreman replied “Yes we have your honour.’

On the charge of the murder of Mr John Banister is Alan Stoneman guilty or not guilty?

The court waited in silence as the foreman composed himself.

“Not guilty.’

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