West Norfolk kidnap trial held up after collapse in Norwich court

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The trial of the West Norfolk family in court on charges of kidnap and wounding has been delayed by half a day.

Seven people from the Wisbech and Walpole areas are on trial at Norwich Crown Court charged with kidnapping and assaulting a man and his pregnant partner over suspicions the male victim murdered pensioner Gertrude Frankham.

Court was delayed on Thursday morning after a defendant up for sentencing prior to the trial collapsed in the dock. Then legal argument delayed proceedings further.

There were delays earlier in the trial when a barristers’ protest saw nothing happen for a morning and technical problems created more problems for the court.

At least one police office was due to give evidence today with more expected next week. It is thought the trial will last at least two more weeks.

Seven defendants deny all of the charges against them. Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walpole St Andrew, is accused of kidnap, blackmail, false imprisonment and robbery; Violet Chilton, 57, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, is charged with blackmail, false imprisonment and wounding with intent and Edward Dolan, 18, of Flower Farm Bungalow, Walpole, is charged with kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

The same allegations have been brought against Thomas Chilton, 29 and Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, Wisbech.

Diane Evans, 18, of Cherry Road, Wisbech, is charged with false imprisonment, while a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named, is charged with kidnap, false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

Five other defendants have already admitted their involvement in the incident. The trial continues.