Back at Teeside Crown Court this morning (I’m attending remotely) for the criminal prosecution of staff members at Whorlton Hall.
HHJ Smith welcomed the jury back, hoping they’d had a restful weekend and explained to them that we’d be starting with about 45 minutes if additional video footage, picking up where we left off on Friday. He said that in due course he’d provide the jury with directions of how to approach this evidence, but for shorthand he’d be referring to it as “the second set of videos”. It all related to background information relating to particular defendants, and did not relate to the counts on the indictment.
Mr Herrmann and DC Simms took the jury through each of the 18 clips. Similarly to last week, it was difficult to decipher much of the discussion in the clips whilst watching in court, but the jury are assisted with transcripts provided by the police.
Mr Herrmann explained that a lot of the clips had asterisks next to them, explaining that was because they’d either be shown to the jury last week, as part of the indictment clips, or weren’t being shown for other reasons. He explained that all of the clips only need to be shown once at this point in the trial, to ensure that they are induced into evidence.
Given how difficult it was to follow I’ll not describe each clip, but instead will share the titles (anonymised to remove patient names) and the durations. I’ll number them in the order shown to the court.
Clip One Filmed 14 February. Peter Bennett talks about the man button. Just short of 3 minutes.
Clip Two Filmed 6 January 2019. Sarah Banner repeating things for Patient 1. Duration 1 1/2 minutes.
Clip Three Filmed 20 January 2019. Sarah Banner re Patient 8 stuttering. 1 minute.
Clip Four Filmed 24 January 2019. Ryan Fuller talks about Patient 2. Just over 2 minutes long.
Clip Five Filmed 24 January 2019. Ryan Fuller states that Patient 1 does not like men. 1 minute 40.
Clip Six Filmed 28 January 2019. Ryan Fuller talks about new patients. Just over 1 1/2 minutes.
Clip Seven Filmed 20 January 2019. John Sanderson discusses Patient 1. Just short 1 1/2minutes.
Clip Eight Filmed 28 January 2019. John Sanderson discusses Patient 4. Duration 2 minutes.
Clip Nine Filmed 22 February 2019. John Sanderson discusses Patient 4. Duration 2 minutes.
Clip Ten Filmed 3 March 2019. John Sanderson discusses Patient 4 and unplugging his telephone. 3 minutes.
Clip Eleven Filmed 20 January 2019. Niall Mellor talks about Patient 4 and pyjamas. Little over 5 minutes.
Clip Twelve Filmed 3 February 2019 Niall Mellor talks with Darren Lawton about Patient 4. Duration between 4 and 5 minutes.
Clip Thirteen Filmed 3 February 2019. Niall Mellor talking to Darren Lawton about Patient 1. Duration 3.5 minutes.
Clip Fourteen Filmed 4 March 2019. Niall Mellor talks about the victims (police language on title slide) patients (Mr Herrmann’s language in court). Duration 3 minutes.
Clip Fifteen Filmed 4 March 2019. Niall Mellor pulling faces re Patient 9. Just over a minute.
Clip Sixteen Filmed 3 February 2019. Niall Mellor talks with Darren Lawton about Patient 5. Duration 1 minute 20 seconds.
Clip Seventeen Filmed 3 February 2019. Niall Mellor talks about Patient 8. Duration 1 minute.
Clip Eighteen Filmed 3 February 2019. Darren Lawton talks about cancelling Christmas for Patient 4. Duration 1 minute.
I’ve not attempted to describe the clips in turn but most appeared to be shot in corridors, either sitting or standing outside patient’s rooms. At times the staff members dropped their voices, or whispered, and conversations were abruptly stopped or changed when some new staff members entered a room or walked past. Staff were often sat slouching in chairs, or leaning against walls. Some of the clips showed staff miming or imitating patients. There was a lot of smirking and laughter.
After this evidence was given Olivia Davies, the undercover BBC reporter who worked at Whorlton Hall and filmed the footage was sworn in to give evidence. I’ll blog about that later.