LAST YEARS MODEL - DETAILED SYNOPSIS
Charity worker Annie Woodrow is standing trial for the murder of her best friend Frances Trevelyan in Midsomer Malham. It's a tense day as the two families are forced to remember the day that drove them apart, 10 months earlier, when Frances was battered to death with a saucepan, allegedly because Annie was obsessed with her friend's husband John.
John Trevelyan brings his eldest daughter Sophie to court, but Ed, his 12-year-old daughter, reluctantly spends the day with her grandmother. Ed refuses to believe Annie killed her mother. Annie's husband Lance, a pop impresario, turns up with his assistant Felicity in tow.
Barnaby was the arresting officer, but he's troubled by Annie's refusal to plead guilty so he asks Jones, who's awaiting the results of his sergeant's exams, to observe the trial. Key witness Mrs Beverley, a neighbour of the Trevelyans now living in sheltered housing, arrives late, accompanied by antiques dealer Jamie Cramner.
Clinical psychiatrist Pru Plunkett tells Barnaby that Annie was planning to move to London to avoid John. Although Pru believes Annie was attracted to John, moving away would be a rational way to avoid causing upset, rather than the actions of an obsessed woman. But witness after witness talks of Annie's crush on John.
Barnaby tells the court Annie lied about her movements on the night of the murder, then changed her story several times. Her reason was that she'd been drinking and couldn't remember. But Lance, under questioning, says his wife wasn't drunk. Barnaby suspects he wants Annie in jail so he can be with Felicity.
While Barnaby questions Lance at home, he notices an antique table once belonging to Mrs Beverley. The frail lady tells the police Jamie kindly bought her house and helped sell the contents. Barnaby realises she's been ripped off - then Mrs Beverley mentions that Frances found out how Jamie was "helping" on the day she died.
Barnaby and Jones suspect Jamie knows more about the murder than he is letting on and fear Mrs Beverley, now confined to her bed, could be at risk if they question him. But time is running out for Annie who looks set to be convicted. To Barnaby's surprise, Mrs Beverley decides she will put herself at risk to flush out the real killer
A very unusual Midsomer episode begins as Annie Woodrow is arrested for the murder of her friend. Barnaby is convinced of Annie's guilt - she had opportunity, motive and there is a host of compelling evidence including an eye witness placing her at the scene of the crime. Furthermore, although she pleads not guilty Annie appears reluctant to confide in her defence counsel.
However, as the trial commences, Barnaby begins to have his doubts. Several key figures in the case appear to be following their own agenda which prompts him to reopen his investigations. It isn't until his keen eye observes an item totally unconnected with the case that he begins to follow a different path and is forced to set a trap to unmask the real murderer before they can strike again.
A very different episode with the murder perpetrated outside the time frame of the episode and much of the action taking place in court. Seasoned fans will recognise Miles Anderson as a brash pop impressario.
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