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Series 2: Episode 3



Leading Criminal Barristers Sasha Wass and Jeremy Dein investigate a curious case of poisoning in Croydon in 1907 that caused the demise of an innocent family.\n\nIn South Croydon in 1907, a ghastly poisoning occured. The victims, husband and wife Richard and Elizabeth Beck, were discovered by police lying dead on their kitchen floor, with their daughter Daisy severely ill on the sofa. Officers noted a peculiar smell that hung in the air, found to emanate from a bottle of oatmeal stout left on the table and soon identified to have contained prussic acid, the cause of death. Police quickly tracked down and questioned the family’s lodger, Reginald Parker, who in turn pointed the finger at a visitor who had called earlier that evening.\n\nThat visitor was no stranger. Richard Brinkley, 53, was well known to Parker, who spun a tale of a deceitful man, a fraudster with murderous intent. He claimed that it was not the Becks but he, Parker, who Brinkley wanted dead. Despite vehemently denying all accusations, Brinkley stood trial, and with his friend Parker as the prosecution’s star witness, he was swiftly found guilty and sentenced to death.\n\nMore than a century later, Roly and Nigel, the great-great grandsons of Richard Brinkley, want to learn the truth about their ancestor. Could he have really committed such a heinous crime?\n\nJeremy and Sasha explore the motive at the centre of the case and discover that there may be more to the friendship of Brinkley and Parker. Can they unearth new evidence to convince a crown court judge that Brinkley’s conviction was unsafe?

Source: BBC 1

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