Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Eleven members of same family face jail after being found guilty of kidnapping and viciously assaulting a heavily pregnant woman and her partner

17:18 17 February 2014

Gertrude Frankham.

Gertrude Frankham.

Archant

A judge has warned members of a family that they face jail after being found guilty of kidnapping and viciously beating a man and his pregnant partner.

The victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were both held against their will and subject to beatings which put the woman in fear of losing her baby.

Those involved in the offences are all related, by either blood or marriage, to Gertrude Frankham, who died in December 2012.

The group, many of whom live in West Norfolk, carried out the attacks believing the couple were responsible for her death, despite medical evidence that she had died from natural causes – a conclusion later re-confirmed following a major police investigation.

Following an extensive investigation led by King’s Lynn CID, defendants were found guilty of offences including kidnap, assault and false imprisonment at Norwich Crown Court and include:

Violet Chilton, 57, of Rands Terrace, Dades Lane, St John’s Fen End, was found guilty of false imprisonment and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

Thomas Chilton, 29, Rands Terrace, Dades Lane, St John’s Fen End, was found guilty of two counts of kidnap and two counts of false imprisonment.

Edward Dolan Jnr, 18, of Flower Farm Bungalow, Walpole, was found guilty of kidnap and false imprisonment.

Vanessa Frankham, 48, of Wisbech Road, Walpole St Andrew, was found guilty of kidnap, blackmail and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm. She had previously admitted false imprisonment.

Diane Evans, 18, of Cherry Road, Wisbech, was found guilty of false imprisonment.

A 17-year-old from the Wisbech area was found guilty of kidnap and false imprisonment.

Several members of the group had previously pleaded guilty and therefore did not stand trial. These included:

Laura Ann Dolan, 37, of Two Sisters Close, Sutton Bridge, pleaded guilty to kidnap, two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of unlawful wounding.

Wayne Dolan, 35, of Walpole Marsh, Walpole St Andrew, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and unlawful wounding.

Edward Dolan Snr, 38, of Walpole Marsh, Walpole St Andrew, pleaded guilty to kidnap, two counts of false imprisonment and wounding with intent.

Sheila Conboy, 55, of Walpole Marsh, Walpole St Andrew, pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment and two counts of unlawful wounding.

Valerie Harris, 47, of Thistlebrook, London, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and unlawful wounding.

Following Gertrude Frankham’s death at the age of 75 in December 2012, members of the family, some of who continued to associate with the victims, became convinced that the male victim had stolen from her.

On 18 April, he was kidnapped and driven to one location by some of the group before being dragged to another where he was viciously beaten - at times with a metal pole and wooden chair - by Wayne Dolan and Eddie Dolan Snr. When he was finally released he sought hospital treatment but, fearing for his life, refused to tell medical staff how he had sustained the serious injuries.

The following day his partner was threatened by Vanessa Frankham and Violet Chilton. In an effort to resolve the dispute, she agreed to meet them on April 20 but was herself then abducted by Thomas Chilton and a 17-year-old boy and driven around by Laura Dolan before being taken to a nearby property.

The group were now convinced her partner was responsible for Gertrude’s death and she was threatened with the death of her unborn child and severely beaten by members of the family, including Sheila Conboy and Valerie Harris, into making a false confession. One of the offenders filmed this on a camcorder. She was left with significant injuries and there were fears for her unborn baby.

During the incident Sheila Conboy phoned police claiming there had been a confession of murder and asked them to attend the property. An extensive and detailed police investigation then began.

As part of this investigation and following the family’s claims in April 2013, an enquiry was launched by the joint Major Investigation Team into the circumstances surrounding the death of Gertrude Frankham.

An exhumation took place in May 2013 with a Home Office post-mortem conducted.

Following comprehensive enquiries and forensic results, it was concluded that she died of natural causes and there was no evidence to support the murder allegation. She was later reburied.

The judge remanded the defendants in custody apart from Edward Dolan, jnr, and the 17 year-old and adjourned the case for sentencing when they will be joined by other members of the extended family, who have already pleaded guilty to their involvement.

He told them “You have been convicted of very serious offences and it seems only custody is appropriate in your case.”

One family member Jason Chilton, 27, of Dades Lane, Wisbech, was on Friday cleared of all offences he faced.

Car has collided with a tree on Bury Road, Newmarket.

The father of Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble has died following a road crash.

Ipswich Crown Court.

An Ipswich man with “an entrenched and disturbing interest” in sexually abusing females has been jailed for 12 years.

Suffolk People First conference in Kesgrave

Giving people with learning disabilities a chance to speak up and be heard is the key goal of Suffolk People First, a meeting organised by Stowmarket-based Advocacy organisation Ace Anglia.

The EACH Colour Dash in Christchurch Park in Ipswich in 2015

Christchurch Park is set to get colourful this Sunday, with thousands of people descending on Ipswich town centre for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice’s (EACH) Colour Dash.

Teddy bears thrown off the church roof in Walsham Le Willows

Teddy bears will be flung off the roof of a Suffolk church in June to mark its village fayre, but thankfully they will be wearing parachutes.

Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams, is leading the devolution charge. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Proposals for two devolution deals for East Anglia were put to the government today - but their specifics remain under-wraps with the chief negotiator fearing making them public could “weaken our negotiating position”.

Work is underway on The Buttermarket in Ipswich.

Jack Wills is preparing to open in the former Croydons store, work on the Primark extension is nearing completion and the transformation of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre is now in its final stage.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24