Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 11 April 2023 – Peter Bennett

The jury were brought into court today at 10:30 with HHJ Smith apologising for the slight delay in starting due to technical difficulties that a technical team were trying to solve. [The audio and picture on the remote link has been a little patchy all day, especially at the start of the morning]. HHJ Smith […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 30 March 2023 – Count 21: not guilty

Yesterday the jury weren’t present as it was taken up with legal submissions, and first thing this morning HHJ Smith made a ruling in relation to those submissions. The jury were brought into court shortly after 11:30am today. HHJ Smith thanked them for their patience and understanding, and explained that it is not always easy […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 29 March 2023

The jury weren’t in court today as initially planned last week, so there’s no report from me. Legal discussions and submissions were ongoing most of the day. HHJ Smith said that he hopes to make a ruling that he’ll read onto the record at 10am tomorrow. The jury are due to return tomorrow at midday. […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – Agreed Facts

HHJ Smith told the jury that there were a number of agreed facts, and that they are what they say on the tin, distilled from documents. He said that similar to the agreed statements from witnesses that were not in dispute between parties, and are just as much evidence as if a witness came along […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 24 March 2023 Defendants’ Interviews

The first interview reported here was started in court yesterday, but I’m reporting it today now that it is complete. Niall Mellor The first interview of Niall Mellor took place at Bishop Auckland on 24 May 2019. It was conducted by two officers and Mr Mellor’s solicitor was present. He was reminded of his right […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 23 March 2023 Defendants’ interviews

At the start of the day today jury members were given an addition to their jury bundle which consisted of the agreed summaries of the police interviews conducted with the defendants in the case. Mr Herrmann, for the prosecution, called DC Gary Barnes to assist him with reading the interview summaries onto the record, and […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 22 March 2023 DC Simms

The jury were brought into court shortly after 11am, welcomed back by HHJ Smith and explained that today they’d be hearing from Detective Constable Alex Simms, the Officer in Charge of the case. First he’d be cross examined, and then the court would listen to summaries of interviews and counsel would be invited to examine […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – 21 March 2023 Read Evidence

After the two live witnesses had given their evidence today, Olivia Davies and Joe Plomin, it was explained to the jury that there is some evidence that is agreed by all parties, and as such witnesses are not called to give their evidence, instead it is read onto the record because it is not in […]

Whorlton Hall Prosecution – Joe Plomin 21 March 2023

Today started with the final two barristers questioning Olivia Davies, the BBC reporter who worked as a support worker at Whorlton Hall and covertly filmed the footage that this case is built upon. You can read about that in a separate post here. After a morning break, Mr Joe Plomin was called as the Crown’s […]