UCOS reinvestigate the case of a missing five-year-old when a recently released prisoner, John Davies, confesses to his abduction and murder.
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-You bring me to the nicest places.
-If this case is as open and shut
as Strickland thinks it is, hopefully we won't be here too long.
So this bloke Davies wants to make a confession 25 years after the event.
Have we spoken to his mental health officer?
He does have a link to the missing boy. He was a friend of the family.
So what? His conscience got the better of him?
Maybe he found religion when he was inside.
-Yeah there's got to be another reason for all this.
-Oi, oi, paedo! Come out your house, man.
-What you hiding behind your door for? You nonce, man.
-For a start,
-the local wildlife seems...
-Take this, man.
Let's get out of here, man!
-Are you Detective Superintendent Pullman?
-She'll be here in a moment.
She's just doing a bit of community policing.
I've just had this jacket cleaned.
I'm arresting you for assaulting a police officer.
# It's all right It's OK
# Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey
# It's all right I say it's OK
# Listen to what I say
# It's all right, doing fine
# Doesn't really matter if the sun don't shine
# It's all right I say it's OK
# We're gettin' to the end of the day. #
Take them to the interview room. I'll be down in a minute.
Anything I should be aware of?
We think they may be part of the reason why Davies
-decided to confess.
He's had to move four times since he was released from prison.
That's four times in the last six months.
Every time he settles in someone tips off the locals
and the next thing he knows there's pitchforks and torches
-as far as the eye can see.
So maybe he feels safer in prison than he does back on the streets.
I'm afraid my concern is for the safety of the streets, not of a convicted paedophile.
Especially one who's confessing to the kidnap and murder of a five-year-old child.
Yeah, and I feel the same way too, but I would like to get to the truth before I hand things over to the CPS.
And that's what I want you to do, of course.
For the tape, Mr Davies, can we remind you that you are entitled to legal representation,
but you've decided to waive that right.
-I just want to get on with this. OK?
I want to confess to the kidnap of Yasser Gorton-Blackledge in 1985.
It was me, I took him.
OK, but why are you confessing now, 25 years later?
Because it's the right thing to do.
I realised that when I was in prison.
I realised I had to pay for what I'd done.
-Then why didn't you confess when you were still inside?
-I wish I had.
Really? Because according to your file you applied for parole at the earliest opportunity.
You were released because you'd shown willing in all the psychiatric treatment
and rehabilitation opportunities you were offered.
Mr Davies, you wrote a ten-page statement in support of your parole application.
Listen, I don't belong on the streets.
You need to put me away. Just put me back in prison.
Surprisingly, it's not as simple as that.
-We need to know whether you're telling us the truth.
All right, let's start with what happened to Yasser.
He was taken from his parents at a protest march and never seen again. Where is he?
All right, where's his body?
-You don't have to give us a map reference, just a general idea.
-We'll find it.
-No, you won't.
-I dumped the body at sea.
-And how did you do that? Did you hire a boat?
How did you get him from London to the coast? Did you have a car?
Provide us with some details. How long did you have him?
-Could anybody have seen the two of you together?
-Look, I've confessed.
Isn't that enough for you?
-Well, isn't it?
-No! Because he didn't bloody do it, Gerry.
-Yeah, but he did plenty of other stuff. You've seen his file.
-I have, and this crime doesn't fit.
Davies used his position as a teacher to groom adolescent lads, not little children,
and he never kidnapped anyone.
-He was cleverer than that.
OK, sly, mendacious.
He was a different kind of predator, and he never used physical violence on his victims.
That doesn't make me feel any more comfortable about him being back on the streets.
He'd agree with you. He doesn't want to be out. That's why he confessed.
He'd rather see out his days in a safe cell on D-Wing than live in fear in a council flat.
-So what do we do?
-Well, he's not going anywhere.
Let's just read the files and take it from there.
April 20th, 1985.
There was a demo against Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.
In attendance was the Islington branch of the Free Palestine Coalition,
leading lights of which were husband and wife team Anne Gorton and Fred Blackledge.
Accompanying them was their young son, Yasser.
That's obvious, isn't it?
Now, the last reported sighting of him was on the north side of Westminster Bridge.
The marchers were crossing from south towards the Houses Of Parliament. This was at 2.00pm.
Hold on, hold on, the kid wasn't reported missing till 8.00pm.
That's how long apparently it took before the parents realised he was missing.
What? God, some parents don't deserve to have kids.
Which is exactly what the press said.
Yeah, well, they were very sympathetic at first, you know, playing up the victim angle.
-Until this came to light.
-Look at them.
And then journalists started asking very awkward questions.
And answering them. They said that Anne and Fred were dangerous left-wing activists,
too obsessed with politics to care for their kid.
They were particularly hard on Anne, saying she'd failed as a mother.
Maybe she did?
Yes, I had a call from DAC Strickland.
He said that Davies had finally done the right thing.
It was fairly obvious once we found out about his history.
He lived locally, he'd been to meetings in our home.
Yasser knew him and must have trusted him enough to go with him.
-It all makes sense, doesn't it?
-We'll still have to do a proper investigation.
Wouldn't be a problem for you, would it?
"Miscarriages of British Justice," "Rough Justice In Modern Britain."
"Are We Living In A Police State?"
I work for a civil liberties campaign group. That's where the real battle lies now.
The day is coming where we won't be able to go anywhere, meet anyone,
say anything without it being recorded and noted down by those in power.
CCTV, internet monitoring, illegal phone taps.
If you don't do anything wrong, there's nothing to worry about.
Well, it depends who's deciding what's right or wrong, doesn't it?
Still, if there had been CCTV on Westminster Bridge...
Oh, I'm aware of the double-edged sword.
If my son's disappearance had been properly investigated...
-You don't think it was?
-I think you let the press do your job for you the first time round.
Well, there'll be no press involvement this time.
But we will need you and your husband to cooperate.
Fred and I separated after...
I'm sorry to hear that.
We'd been on different paths for a long time.
Emotionally and politically.
In short, feminism is a fascist movement,
hell bent on reducing men to the rank of second-class citizens.
Just as the Jews were demonised by the Nazis,
so the feminazis have waged a propaganda war against a whole gender.
We are violent in the home according to the social workers.
We are obsolete according to the scientists.
How long before this fascism is pursued to its inevitable conclusion?
We'll expand on this theme next week.
Please do the reading. Thank you.
That's quite a theory you've got there.
Not theory, fact.
-Can I help you?
-My name's Halford, I called your office, I'm from UCOS.
You're here about Yasser?
I'd like to talk to you about the day he went missing.
-And about John Davies?
-Anything you can tell me.
I can tell you the poor bastard was as much a victim as Yasser was.
Oh, really? You don't think he did it?
You heard what I had to say about the feminist propaganda machine.
For the last century we've been told over and over that men are predators,
just interested in violence and sex, and some men have chosen to believe this,
to allow themselves to be debased by it. Davies was one of them.
OK. Professor Blackledge, you were the last person to see Yasser alive.
Yes, I didn't know that at the time.
Yasser had been with us all day. He was riding on people's shoulders, banging his drum,
shouting all the slogans.
When we got to Westminster tube, Anne decided she wanted to go home. She had a headache.
I thought she'd taken Yasser with her.
Yasser was having such a good time,
I didn't want to take him home and spoil it.
-Did you say that to Fred?
-I said, "Yasser will be OK?"
And he nodded.
But he thought I meant Yasser would be OK with me.
I suppose it was an easy mistake to make.
And then you just went home?
I took a couple of aspirin,
made some food for when they got back,
and sat in the garden with a cup of tea.
Then Fred came home.
I thought she was joking at first.
I thought he was upstairs in his bed, I even went up to check.
It felt like the bottom had fallen out of my world.
So you called the police?
That's when it got real.
First few days we thought of him as just lost, that he'd turn up,
one way or another, but then the police started talking about him as a missing child.
Not lost, taken.
The river police trawled up and down that part of the Thames.
They handed out photos in the area.
Then they advised us to involve the press,
get the word out.
But of course, that backfired.
The coverage was pretty damning.
Not until Jamie Peters sold them that picture.
Hold on, who was Jamie Peters?
A comrade, or so we thought.
He'd been part of the campaign for years.
Totally dedicated to the cause.
I'd like to know how much the press paid for that picture.
And why didn't he sell them one of Yasser on Fred's shoulders, or holding my hand?
I think you know the answer to that.
The journalists spoke to our friends, our family, trying to find some dirt on us.
And when they couldn't, they made it up.
They crucified us day after day.
How long after that were you and Fred divorced?
About 18 months.
We were so careful with each other at first,
walking on eggshells.
And then one night the dam broke and it all came out.
I blamed him, he blamed me, we threw in a few other issues just to make it hurt that little bit more.
And then it was over,
-and he left.
-'I learnt a valuable lesson.'
Men are always to blame. Just pick up a paper.
We cause war, famine, economic meltdown, while women are blameless.
Well, that's all we've been told, over and over again.
-Well, there's probably a reason...
-Take the global warming myth.
They call it man-made climate change.
Man-made. As if a woman never drove a car or took a flight.
You see, this is what we're fighting against.
It's a woman's world, and we just live in it.
You do realise that, don't you?
What a load of bollocks.
I can't believe they let him teach.
And write books.
Loads of them about Soviet Russia, China, Fidel Castro.
Then he goes all Middle Eastern and publishes a couple about Gaza and the Zionist conspiracy.
Oooh, then it's all about those pesky feminists.
How's this for a title?
The Secret War On Modern Men.
-Stick to your cook books, Gerry.
-Yeah, you'd like that, wouldn't you?
Me tied to a kitchen sink, seen and not heard.
I'm not sure I buy all this misunderstanding on Westminster Bridge.
Nah, one of them would have said goodbye, told him who was looking after him.
I think one of them's lying.
Or both of them. It's a very convenient way to provide each other with an alibi.
You think they killed their son?
Maybe not on purpose, but I don't think we should rule it out.
Has anyone considered that little unsupervised Yasser might just have wandered away?
I know they trawled the river, but that was six hours later.
I've been thinking about that. I've been on a few demos in me time.
-Oh, yes, when Esther and I were courting.
She was quite the ragged-trousered philanthropist in her day.
Those demos were always heavily policed. Especially around Westminster.
Tell me about it.
You went on a demo? I can believe it of him.
No, in uniform!
Yeah, keeping the peace.
Actually I spent the whole day being called a pig or a capitalist running dog. "Kill the police!"
Yeah, they're all the same, that lot.
Who do they run to when their bikes get nicked?
Well, just to be sure, I looked up the Met's policing guidelines for demos at the time.
There's a memo from the Chief Constable a week before suggesting that cover was doubled
on Westminster Bridge and around Parliament.
Not the best place to snatch a child.
Maybe he did just wander off?
In which case, I think we need to track down all the other people on that march with Fred and Anne
and ask them what they remember seeing.
There we are.
-Well, what's the matter with it?
-No, nothing, it looks lovely.
-I remember a time when this was the last thing you'd want to be doing.
Getting the tea on the table in time for your husband coming home.
What was it you and your gang used to call it?
Well, that was a long time ago.
You were going to defeat the forces of oppression, that was it.
So what happened?
What happens to most people. We got married, we had Mark, real life!
Esther, you were going to lead a revolution!
-No, I wasn't!
-Well, you went to all the meetings.
Yeah, along with some student teachers, an ageing social worker,
and that woman who used to sell woolly hats at Camden Market.
-That's who I was going to manning the barricades with.
We'd all have been dead by teatime.
-Mr Davies? Are you waiting for me?
-I was wondering if you were going to be arresting me today?
What do I need to do to get you to believe me?
Provide some evidence.
Tell us where to find the body. Give us some details.
Well, it's me own fault.
I've domesticated her.
Stolen her fire.
Oh, I don't know. I think your Esther's still got plenty of that.
-Hello, you, um, wanted to see me?
-I'm Jack Halford, this is Brian Lane.
-How do you do?
-Were you ever a member of the Islington branch of the Free Palestine campaign?
Oh, God, in another life. Erm, 20-odd years ago.
We'd like to talk to you about the disappearance of Yasser Gorton-Blackledge.
-Right. You better come through.
I met Fred at North London University.
-You were a student?
-No, no, no, I was a nurse at the university health centre dishing out pills -
pregnancy tests and penicillin.
It was the summer of '84 and the students had occupied the building as a protest.
Protest about what?
They were going to occupy the building until Israel stopped occupying Palestine.
Well, that worked(!)
I was there as a first aider. I had no interest in politics at all.
And then I got talking to Fred.
Next thing I know I'm going to meetings and demos and...
-Looking back on it, I think it was all a bit of a distraction.
I'd just been through a divorce.
-It was nice to have some new friends.
-You remember Yasser, do you?
-Poor little thing.
It didn't surprise me that he wandered off.
He never had any boundaries.
The house was always full of strangers for meetings and demos.
He went to all the rallies and protests.
I mean, maybe it was just a matter of time before something happened.
So, you would agree with what the press said about Anne and Fred?
-They were negligent parents?
-I wouldn't go as far as that.
-How far would you go?
-I just think
they didn't realise how lucky they were to have Yasser until it was too late.
What about John Davies?
Do you think he showed any inappropriate attention to Yasser?
No, no, not as far as I remember.
To be honest, he was only ever at a couple of the meetings,
-and then I think he came out of politeness.
-What do you mean?
Well, he was a teacher at the local school.
-It doesn't bear thinking about.
Anne was on the board of governors, I think she nagged him into coming to a couple of the meetings.
The thing about Fred and Anne is they always assumed
that everyone was as committed to the cause as they were.
They didn't realise that some people would just
pick up a leaflet or sign a petition just to get them off their backs.
-And on this the demo, was Davies there?
-Not as far as I remember, no.
After Yasser went missing, how did Anne and Fred seem?
I have no idea. The demo was the last time I saw any of the group.
It was sort of like my leaving party.
-Big party. Where were you going?
I'd volunteered to work as a nurse in the refugee camps.
-Wow, that was brave.
I would never have dreamt of doing it if it hadn't been for Fred and Anne.
They certainly broadened my horizons.
How long were you there?
Two hard, dirty, traumatic, amazing years.
It was the best and worst thing I've ever done. I still miss it.
Why did you come back?
I wanted my son to have a British education.
Oh, you have a son?
Was he a friend of Yasser's?
-Did Davies ever talk to him?
-No, no, no, I didn't have him then.
So you were pregnant while you were working in the refugee camps?
That must have been hard. I'm surprised you weren't just sent home.
No, you don't understand. I adopted Will while I was out there.
-Quite a souvenir to bring back, eh?
-Better than a stick of rock.
I'm hoping he might have other pictures from that day. Crowd shots maybe.
Featuring your local neighbourhood nonce, John Davies!
Well, that would be extremely helpful, but I won't hold my breath.
No, I'm more interested in seeing whether that shot was taken out of context
or whether they really were being negligent.
Yeah, that's the one there. At least I hope it is.
He was living here in '85 and I've got no record of him moving.
You know how I love a long shot.
Hello, Detective Superintendent Pullman. Does Jamie Peters live here?
Er, he does, but he's away with work at the moment. Can I get him to call you?
-Yeah, thanks, I'll give you my card.
-Will he know what it's about?
Yeah, it's about Yasser Gorton-Blackledge,
who went missing in 1985.
Oh, OK. He'll be in touch.
Long shot paid off.
We spoke to several members of the group and they all said pretty much the same thing.
-They weren't bad parents.
Just a bit distracted?
Yeah, we got the same story.
And as for Yasser,
he was just happy to go along for the ride.
-Maybe he had to be.
Gillian Withall described him as lonely.
-Well, lonely boys are easy prey for predators.
A few kind words, a bag of sweets...
But hardly any of them even remembered Davies.
And those that did don't remember him being interested in Yasser.
Of course they wouldn't notice. I mean, what did you call him? Mendacious?
These blokes are smart. They know how to keep under the radar.
-I mean, how long was he a teacher before anyone knew what was going on?
-Best part of ten years.
Yeah, and that's why we've got this surveillance culture that Anne Gorton campaigns against.
Some people need to be under surveillance.
-He says he's got some new information for us.
Yasser had a toy car with him when I took him. A little red one.
And where is it now?
I don't know.
You don't have it?
No. It must be with the body.
-Which is at sea!
-Ask Anne Gorton about it.
Ask her. She'll tell you.
I'll be at home when you're ready to arrest me.
Are you here to talk about John Davies?
Actually, I'm here to ask why you were knocking on the door of an MI5 safe house this morning.
I wasn't aware I was.
You asked for a Jamie Peters?
That's an active alias for one of their agents.
Oh, is it now?
MI5. Who would have thought?
Mind you, I've always fancied a look inside.
Yeah, it would make a nice change to interfere in one of their cases instead of the other way round.
I expect there'll be some serious security though.
Retina scans, full-body metal detectors.
Come on, let's get on with it.
There you go.
-Is that it?
Yes. Richard will take you down.
-This way, gentlemen.
-After you, Miss Moneypenny.
You see, that's a mistake a lot of people make.
-James Bond was actually MI6.
MI6 are the spies.
MI5 are the spy catchers.
We've given you temporary low-level clearance.
So, I am able to tell you that Jamie Peters was an operative in the '80s
tasked with intelligence gathering within fringe political organisations.
Anne Gorton, Fred Blackledge and the Free Palestinian group were placed under surveillance
-because we believed at the time that they had links to other less benign groups in the Middle East.
Probably not. They did have an unusual amount
of contact with foreign nationals, but they were usually just overseas students they'd taken in as lodgers.
Fred Blackledge did visit a few hot spots.
China, Cuba, East Germany, the Soviet Union.
Yeah, well, he was writing books about those places.
And what happened to our man in Islington?
Jamie was reassigned after the boy disappeared
to avoid his becoming embroiled in the Metropolitan Police's investigation.
To explain the sudden withdrawal from the Gorton-Blackledge social circle
we released some photos to the press in Jamie's name.
And made it look like he'd sold them down the river and couldn't face them.
Unfortunate operational necessity.
So, these are the surveillance files and Jamie's notes. Take as long you like.
-Nice piles, neat piles.
Yeah, you couldn't point us in the direction of the nearest tea machine could you?
Afraid not. Classified.
Thank you. Did Yasser have a favourite toy?
Yes, a little red car.
His grandad gave it to him. He loved it.
-Who else know about it?
Do you still have it?
No, he must have sneaked it into his pocket before we left for the march.
It was a couple of weeks before I realised.
I wasn't able to go into his room at first.
I didn't want anyone to disturb it, in case...
-I just wanted everything to be as he'd left it when he came home.
-Of course you did.
When I did finally go in,
I realised that it wasn't there.
Did anyone else know it was missing?
No. Just me and Fred.
-Aren't Laurel and Hardy back yet?
-Tell them to stop wasting their time. I'm bringing Davies in.
No-one else knew about the car.
He didn't do it. I pulled his education department record.
On the day of the march he was in a school disciplinary meeting
accused of inappropriate behaviour towards a pupil.
A boy of 15.
And he talked his way out of it?
He claimed the boy made the accusation because he'd put him in detention.
The headmaster gave him the benefit of the doubt, but I don't think he was too comfortable about it,
cos Davies was persuaded to move on.
To another school? Great(!)
That's why Anne and Fred didn't see him again.
No, our first instincts were right. He had nothing to do with it.
But why make a false confession?
And how the hell did he know about this little red car?
Well, he knew about it today, but his memory wasn't so sharp yesterday.
Yes, so where's he getting his information from?
You should have arrested me.
No, I shouldn't. We know you didn't do it.
We know you were at a school meeting on the day of the demo.
However, I am thinking of charging you with wasting police time.
Anything to say?
Look, if you just wanted to be relocated...
What would be the bloody point of that? He'd just find me.
And who's he?
I don't know! Just some nutter.
I don't know how he knows who I am, but he does.
And wherever they put me, he's there.
He talks to the neighbours, tells them who... What I am.
So, you thought you'd confess to Yasser's murder and get put out of harm's way?
No, that was his idea.
Anthony Vernon told you to confess?
I confronted him,
I asked him why he was doing this to me.
He said he knew that I'd taken Yasser.
I told him it was nothing to do with me, he was having none of it,
threatened to make the rest of my life a misery if I didn't hand myself in.
After six months of him I just wanted to be somewhere safe.
I thought you'd jump at the chance to put away a pervert.
He went mad when I told him you weren't interested in me.
That's when he told me to come back and tell you about the toy car.
He fed you that information?
Yeah. And when that didn't work...
I assume this young lady is here to take your statement.
-Yes I am, Sir.
-We'll be in touch.
Cor, blimey, I thought being a spy would be exciting.
Can you imagine, five years of going to boring meetings pretending to be interested?
Making a note of everyone who turns up.
He even goes about who brought the biscuits in this one.
Yeah, I don't remember that bit about custard creams in Goldfinger, do you?
I mean, most of this is just gossip.
There's quite a bit about Fred and Anne's marriage.
-Well, she was knocking off the lodgers, weren't she?
Yeah, here, in this one, there.
Mind you, it is 1981. So it's hardly relevant.
It's got to be more interesting than another discussion about Zionism.
Oh, I see!
So while poor old Fred was freezing his Baltics off in Moscow, she found another way of keeping warm.
-Gives a whole new meaning to bed and breakfast.
-Doesn't it, though?
Well, I was just thinking, it wasn't just Davies who had the chance to get to know Yasser, gain his trust.
-What, the lodgers, you mean?
-Well, it's the most interesting thing in these files,
unless you consider the very nice Garibaldis they had on the 13th of November.
I don't know.
-I found a familiar name here.
-No, I don't think I should show you.
-Why ever not?
-According to what I've just read, you're a potential security risk.
-What, there's stuff about me there?
Brian, how well do you know Esther?
I'm married to her, Gerry.
It's called deep cover.
Where? It's just more stuff about these meetings, innit?
-That's not amusing.
Oh, I don't know.
I wonder how Esther would feel about you being so quick to believe she's a double agent.
Right, come on. Let's go and see this lusty landlady, eh?
-Mr Vernon, I'm sure you're aware that perverting the course of justice is a serious offence.
Then perhaps you'd care to explain why you forced John Davies
-into confessing to a crime he didn't commit.
We have a statement of that effect from Mr Davies.
Oh, right. That's Davies the convicted paedophile?
His previous convictions have no bearing on this case.
Yeah, and I'm a sure a jury of my peers will agree.
Everyone knows you can always trust a kiddie fiddler.
What about doctors? How do you think they go down with a jury?
Because the facial injuries that Davies is recovering from tell their own story.
I don't know what you're talking about.
You see, what I don't understand is why this particular case?
Why did you want him to confess to the killing of Yasser Gorton-Blackledge?
As I've told you, I didn't. I've never even heard of...
Do you have any links to the family, Mr Vernon?
Cos you passed on some details that only somebody close to them would know. Care to explain why?
-Sure about that?
-Davies has dropped the assault charge.
It was an accident, he fell over his cat.
You're free to go.
Am I supposed to be surprised?
Of course MI5 were watching us.
It must have been a very dull assignment for Jamie. All we did was talk.
They were very interested in your lodgers.
You know, the foreign students you had staying with you.
We were on a digs list at the university.
For the most part they were nice boys who needed a bed and a friendly face.
You were a little bit more than friendly.
It was a complicated time in our marriage.
-Fred was overseas a lot. I got lonely.
-Yeah, I think we can understand that.
I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what this has to do with my son.
We didn't take in students after Yasser was born. We didn't have the room.
-Did you keep in touch with any of them?
-The odd postcard.
One or two stayed in the UK after they'd finished their courses. They'd pop in.
Thinking back, would you say that any of them may have posed a danger to your son?
No. Why would you?
Because they were foreign?
-Dear God! Some things never change.
-No, because they had access to your home.
-They were almost part of the family.
-You're barking up the wrong tree.
There's absolutely no need for you to start disrupting their lives.
It's just a line of enquiry.
Well, it's offensive.
And I'd like you to leave.
Typical bloody lefty to play the race card.
I don't care if her lodgers are foreigners. I don't care if they're extraterrestrials.
-And I don't think that's what it was all about.
-She was covering?
Well, she seemed very uncomfortable about us contacting any of them.
-Why? Because of the affairs?
-No! once she and Fred got divorced that's water under the bridge.
Yeah, but at the time, maybe it all boiled over?
-So you think things got violent?
-I don't know.
Fred does have strong opinions about domestic violence.
I just think it's another thing to add to their list of distractions.
-Politics, a broken marriage...
-It's like Jack said from the off.
I mean, this story gives a very convenient alibi for the both of them.
Go back to Gillian Withall, she seems to have known them the longest and the best.
Would anyone be surprised to hear that Anthony Vernon has got a history of violence?
-Not really. Go on.
-His ex-wife has a restraining order against him.
He's not allowed within 20 feet of her, or the children.
The kids as well? That's unusual.
-Do you think she'll speak to us?
-We can but try. But why should we?
Well, I've got nowhere with the man himself.
I want to know why he wanted Davies to confess to this case specifically.
Karen Vernon? Detective Superintendent Pullman, this is Jack Halford.
-It's not the first time I've spoken to the police about Tony.
It's OK. He can't touch me now.
Not physically, or in any other way.
-I'm glad to hear it.
-It's when he threatened the boys.
It was like he switched something off in me.
He said if I ever left him, he'd kill me and make the kids watch.
It took me three months to save up enough money and then find a place to run to.
We haven't seen him since.
He's tried. He dragged me through the law courts, but it's his temper.
-Punched his solicitor the last time.
-Not a smart move.
The thing is, he's not stupid.
He used to be a journalist. But he kept losing it with the editors, so he never made it to the nationals.
So he worked for a local paper. Which one?
-Oh, different ones.
Islington Gazette I think.
He only lasted about a year on that one.
Did he ever work on a story about a little boy who was abducted?
Is that what this is about?
He was obsessed with that story.
He was the first on the scene. He had a contact at the police station that tipped him off.
He door-stepped the parents and sold the story to the nationals.
-He thought it was his big chance.
-But it wasn't?
No, they just paid him for the first report and then sent in their own hacks.
He tried to follow up the story, though.
He did an interview with the dad.
Yeah, when was this?
-'95, it's the year we left.
-Ten years later.
-It was a sort of anniversary piece.
He couldn't sell it, though. No-one was interested.
-He must have been bitter about that.
I had two black eyes and a broken rib to prove it.
Oh, what have you got?
Look at me there! Oh, this brings back some memories.
Oh, there's Jane Longthorn.
I wonder what happened to her.
Might be married, couple of children.
-Or she could be under deep cover in a former Soviet state.
Depends what her next mission was and if she chose to accept it.
What on earth are you talking about?
You do realise that any of your so-called sisters could have been working for the security services?
Reporting your every move back to the powers that be?
Don't be so ridiculous. They wouldn't have been interested in me.
That might be, but you remember, you dragged me along to a couple of those meetings, and some marches.
-Me! A serving officer of the law.
Well, they probably thought you were trying to turn me into a sleeper.
A Manchurian candidate.
Brian, have you taken your tablets today?
They might still be listening!
You're still an activist, aren't you?
You went to a political meeting only last week.
Yes, about the closing of the post office.
-I do remember!
There was some talk of bringing down the government and stringing up a few Royals from the lampposts!
This isn't a joke.
No, I know. That's what worries me.
I'm going to bed.
Don't be long.
-Yes, and I'm going to bed now myself and all.
It's not just the potential invasion of my civil liberties, or my rights as a private citizen.
I can't stop thinking about how being an enemy of the state might have held me back.
What lists does my name appear on, and what opportunities have I missed as a result?
I'm telling you, I could have been held back all this time.
-Held back from what?
I might have been Commissioner by now for all we know.
I don't think it was the secret service that held you back.
No, that was the misandry of the global gynarchy oppressing the male
and allowing him to deny his natural position of authority.
What the hell are you reading?
One of Fred Blackledge's books.
I mean it's well over the top in places, but there's a lot he says rings a bell with me.
I mean, I've spent my whole life being told what to do by women.
Yeah, wives, daughters, Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman. Hold on, I'm reading that.
Yeah, I know. That's the problem.
Gerry, with me.
I rest my case.
Yes, I was aware of my wife's behaviour while I was away.
I found out when I returned home a day early from a trip to Havana.
She was in bed with her latest. It was quite the cliche.
-At the time, yes, but now I understand.
-The myth of the biological imperative.
-Are you familiar?
-Refresh my memory.
We are told over and over that men are the promiscuous gender, that we are driven by sex.
The fact is that both genders are driven by sex.
The difference is that women cut off that drive when they
have secured what it was they were looking for all along.
-A child. The truth is that women do not have sex for pleasure.
-Now I understand if you find that distressing
but that's only because you are conditioned to believe that you enjoy sex.
-Conditioned by who?
-Capitalist forces. The market.
The pharmaceutical companies that make you reliant on the pill.
The cosmetic companies that say you have to be desirable.
The Feminazi magazines who peddle the lies of Dr Grafenburg and his ilk.
Grafenburg. The inventor of the G-spot? And I do mean inventor.
OK, let me see if I've got this right.
When women don't enjoy themselves in bed,
it's not the fault of the man. It's social conditioning?
-Exactly! Well done.
-So when your wife looked elsewhere
because you weren't satisfying her, that wasn't your fault?
-Maybe you haven't completely understood.
All I know is that once my wife had her child, she lost all interest in anything sexual.
-She had no desire...
For sexual pleasure.
It simply wasn't on her list of priorities any more.
Oh, everyone knew about the affairs.
Anne didn't do anything to hide them.
It was her way of getting back at Fred for leaving her alone for weeks on end.
So, they were just casual affairs?
It was sort of like a holiday romance only Fred was the one having the holiday.
She could get quite intense about her young men but then as soon as Fred came home...
Were the young men as intense as she was?
What do you think?
There was one that went a bit puppy dog.
Harry actually was pretty smitten and I did think she might do something stupid with him.
Like leave Fred?
Maybe. But then Fred came home and caught them at it.
He went mad and threw Harry out.
Which was obviously exactly what Anne wanted all along.
-She might have been a feminist but she still wanted a caveman.
She just wanted him to show her that he cared.
After that it was all happy families.
Especially when Yasser came along.
She didn't know how lucky she was to have all that.
Still, she didn't deserve to lose it.
No, no, of course not.
Mum, can you come and take some blood?
-Sorry, I didn't realise you had visitors.
-Oh, that's OK.
We're just about to leave.
-You must be Gillian's son?
-That's right. Dr William Withall.
But most people just call me Will.
Quite a medical family, aren't you?
Is your brother a doctor as well?
I don't have a brother.
My mistake, sorry. Shall we...
Far be it from me to not be politically correct...
I think I know what you're going to say, but go on.
When you adopt from Africa don't they usually give you a black baby?
So, what is it about Fred Blackledge that you find so damn fascinating?
-You wouldn't understand.
-Why, because I'm a woman?
Yeah. Yeah that is exactly it. You've not been oppressed.
You don't know what it's like to live in a world
-of emasculation created by feminism!
-No, I suppose not.
He understands, you see, how the system is weighted against us now.
How the pendulum has swung too far.
He understands because he's experienced it.
He has experienced the loss of a child...
Yes, but the way you lost your children is very different.
I told you. You don't understand.
Apparently not. So, wasn't Davies part of the brotherhood?
-You tried to pin a murder on him.
-Because he did it.
-No, Mr Vernon.
-Yeah, Fred told me about his suspicions in '95.
-The anniversary interview?
The interview that changed my life.
You see, he was just developing his theories, his philosophy back then.
But what little he told me
set me free from my guilt, from my torment.
And ever since I've been... well, finding a way to repay the favour.
Then I heard that Davies was out.
-How did you hear?
-I was a journalist. I have my contacts.
You know that he only served half of his sentence?
-He was a model prisoner.
-He's a sick bastard.
Maybe, but he's not a murderer.
Looks like you'll have to find some other sacrifice for the master.
Oh, for God's sake!
Have you read any of this crap?
Well, you know me, Guv'nor, not a big reader.
It's one thing to hear him spouting the rubbish,
but to see it in black and white.
Listen to this. "In divorces, the father should get automatic
"custody of their sons so that they are not exposed to the gender war propaganda of their mothers."
No wonder he was able to recruit Anthony Vernon.
I still don't think he put Vernon up to framing John Davies though.
No, neither do I.
Vernon's just an extremist who wanted to show devotion
to his hero and I also don't think he had anything to do with Yasser's death.
You're right about that. Because we don't think that Yasser is dead.
OK, there is no record of an official adoption.
That doesn't mean anything, Jack.
But there is a record of another child.
Born to Gillian in December 1980.
Died February 1981.
Three months? Gawd, poor cow.
She did say she'd been going through a bad time before hooking up with Anne and Fred.
A marriage break-up - sounds like we've found the cause.
And the name of the child that died was William.
So, a couple of days after Yasser goes missing, Gillian goes to Africa
and comes back two years later with a white son.
She kept saying that Anne didn't realise how lucky she was to have Yasser.
Maybe she decided to prove her point and take him away.
We'll pursue this line of enquiry but I want to handle it with kid gloves.
I don't want to confront a bereaved mother until we've done a bit of digging.
We should talk to he ex-husband. See if they kept in touch.
Yeah, bring him in tomorrow morning.
Brian! What are you doing now?
-I'm looking for listening devices.
Do you remember when we had that squariel fitted years ago?
-I think that's when they might have done it!
Oh, don't look at me like that, Esther!
I wouldn't need to do this if it wasn't for you and your radical politics.
Hang on. You went to those meetings as well!
I was... I was trying to impress you.
I had no interest in politics!
Oh, for God's sake, give me that.
If I'd have known it was going to ruin me career...
I beg your pardon?
-Are you trying to say that I've been holding you back?
Not on purpose.
Would you like to talk about what ruined your career?
Would you like to talk about the drinking?
The obsessive behaviour?
No. I didn't think you would.
Mr Withall, I'm Detective Superintendent Pullman.
Thank you for coming in, take a seat.
Can I get you a tea or coffee?
No, thank you. You said this was about Gillian.
When was the last time you saw your ex-wife?
-Why? Has something happened to her? Is she OK?
Because I haven't seen her since the divorce became final.
Would you mind if we asked you about your divorce?
Erm, well, it wasn't my idea.
It was after...
-We lost our son. Cot death.
-Yes, we know and we're very sorry.
One of them things.
That's what they say.
But it felt like the end of the world and it never really goes away.
There's always a hole.
And for us that hole became divorce.
You say that you've not seen Gillian, but you have heard from her?
-Do you still have any mutual friends?
-No, she cut everyone off, pretty much.
What about her family? Do you keep in touch with them?
She didn't have much family.
Her mum and dad had gone.
Erm, she had a brother but he lived in Canada and they weren't close.
That's why we wanted to start a family. We wanted a houseful.
So, no contact?
I tried to get in touch in 2001.
It would have been Will's 21st.
I wondered if she wanted to go to the graveyard, leave some flowers.
I got in touch with her through the nurses' union.
She wouldn't talk to me.
She wanted a new start.
-Did she say that?
-Yeah. I just hope she got what she wanted.
Mr Withall, I'm assuming that you don't know that Gillian has adopted a son?
No, I didn't.
-A boy? What did she call him?
I would never have...
-Is that everything?
-Yes, I think that's it.
Thank you very much and, um... I'm sorry.
-Well, that wasn't fun.
Gillian Withall was isolated enough to bring the child home
and not to have anybody ask any awkward questions.
Well, she's going to answer some questions now.
Let's get it over with.
I suppose we just stay here and twiddle our thumbs?
Fancy going rogue?
Hello. Back again? What can I do for you this time?
-This is Superintendent Pullman, we'd like to talk to you.
-And your son.
Yes, erm, this way.
I think I always knew there was something not quite right.
She wouldn't let me see my dad.
Mum said he was violent and that we didn't need him.
And every time I needed anything official, any paperwork...
it was always lost or there was some complication.
So... Who am I?
I don't want to give a definitive answer to that until we've done a DNA test and made some more enquiries.
Yeah, I get that. But before we get into the soap opera part of all this...
Just tell me who I might be?
Nicos Megas. That's your real name, OK?
It's not Yasser.
His mother gave him to me when she died.
I've got all the paperwork at home to prove it. He's mine.
-You're mine, Will.
Calm down. I'm 30-years-old, mum.
They can't take me away.
You're not who they're saying you are.
-They haven't said anything, Mum.
-I wouldn't just...
I can't believe you think I'd do that to another family!
I know what it feels like to lose a child.
-Do you think we've got the right clearance for using the loos this time?
I just think we're wasting our time here, Gerry.
This lodger thing's going nowhere.
They weren't even taking in students when Yasser went missing.
Yeah, but they were there when he was conceived.
-Oh, here we are!
Harry, or Abu Hamas as his mum called him.
-Half of it's blacked out.
-That means this material's still highly classified.
I wonder if that Richard bloke's still about.
-We need to be fully briefed.
-Go and ask him.
Pack it all up. We're putting this one down to experience.
Oh, no, no, you can't!
Gillian Withall was a dead end. I can't progress with this any further.
Yeah, but we can.
We think that Yasser was taken by his dad.
-Abu Hamas, from Gaza.
He was a leading light in the PLO.
-Is he now?
-Was. He's dead, which is why the spooks could tell us about him.
He died in a border skirmish in 1989, during the First Intifada.
Why do we think he's Yasser's dad?
Abu Hamas and Anne Gorton were at it nine months before Yasser was born.
Whereas Fred and Anne definitely weren't.
Initially because Fred was away, and then according to surveillance reports,
because they were occupying separate bedrooms.
MI5 gave us this, look.
Wait for it.
Who'd you think was guest speaker at the rally before the Free Palestine march?
And who do you think flew him in and sponsored his visitor's visa?
-I'm teaching at the moment, so I don't have time for this.
-What's the lecture about?
Second-wave feminism and the threat of the fallow holocaust.
-Death to the penis.
-Not fathers' rights, then.
-I speak on that frequently, just not today.
-I want to check I've got something right.
You think that boys should always live with their fathers,
irrespective of any issues around child welfare, domestic violence...
Another tool in the belt of the feminazis.
-Most accusations are false.
-You'd know better than me, a serving police officer.
To answer your question, yes, boys should be brought up by their fathers,
to keep them away from the feminist indoctrination of their mothers.
That's why you handed Yasser over to Abu Hamas, is it? For political reasons?
I knew the moment the doctor gave Anne her due date.
Even I can count to nine.
So you just waited until the right moment and handed him over?
I traced Abu Hamas and told him the truth.
I sent him photos until it was time to put things right.
It was the right thing to do.
Bringing up another man's child is wrong.
I just didn't love him.
I felt guilty about that at the time, but not any more.
It was the purest political act of my life.
So you should be.
What you did wasn't the act of a man.
A real man wouldn't have cared. He'd have just been proud to have the privilege of being a father.
Oh, I see. You work under a woman long enough
and you start to think like them. Do you know what you are?
What you did wasn't politics, it was having a pop at your wife.
It was about putting her through 25 years of grief
so that you could feel better about her shagging another bloke.
And if that makes you a man and me a mangina,
book me in for a Brazilian.
-No apology necessary.
And where is he now?
Still in Gaza as far as we know. I'm sorry we don't have more.
He's alive, that's all I need.
A chance to find him.
-You're going to look for him?
Well, be careful, Gaza's not the safest place in the world.
You don't have children, do you?
-Sorry, it wasn't supposed to be an accusation, it's just...
You couldn't possibly understand.
Maybe that's how Fred could do what he did.
-Because he couldn't understand what he was doing to me.
-Oh, I think he understood.
-And I think he's spent the last 20 years justifying it to himself and everyone else.
Urgh, not much of a result.
Well, harassment and perverting the course of justice charges against Vernon and Fred.
Yeah, big deal. Are you sure we can't do Blackledge on something else?
He gave a child to his to his father. It was Abu Hamas who took him out of the country.
And it caused a bit of damage on the way, William Withall.
Aye, and me. Now I know I've been living in a police state.
Oh, for God's sake! I've read your file when we were setting up this team.
-I knew there was a file on me!
-Of course there was!
I was right, wasn't I? Esther's radicalism's ruined my career!
I should never have gone to those meetings.
Signing my name on bloody petitions!
It said you were too insignificant for surveillance,
and that Esther was essentially harmless.
Harmless? Are you sure they were watching the right woman?
Oh, come on!
See you there.
I've read your report.
Sorry it wasn't the result you wanted, sir.
What do you mean?
Well, Davies is still at large. I hope you don't think it was a complete waste of resources.
Of course not. Is that what you thought?
-That's not why I counselled you against this case.
UCOS does extraordinary work. It breaks cases that are unbreakable.
But child abductions? They eat resources and burn out officers.
But you don't feel you can let it go.
It's a missing child, after all.
So you work your overtime and ignore the people at home.
And when you do finally get a result, it's not usually a good one.
Maybe I wanted to protect four of my most valuable assets from that?
I've got something for you.
I thought I'd help you save that post office, or anything else for that matter.
If it needs saving, banning or its consciousness raising, I'm your man.
Just like the old days. What do you think?
# It's all right It's OK
# Doesn't really matter if you're old and grey
# It's all right I say it's OK
# Listen to what I say
# It's all right, doing fine
# Doesn't really matter if the sun don't shine
# It's all right I say it's OK
# We're gettin' to the end of the day. #
E-mail [email protected]
UCOS reinvestigate the disappearance of five-year-old Yasser Blackledge 25 years ago when a recently released prisoner, John Davies, confesses to his abduction and murder. The team are suspicious of Davies's motives for the admission so soon after being granted parole, and far from treating it as an open and shut case they decide to take a closer look at Yasser's estranged parents.