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Newbury stars in Channel 4 drama The Trial

Courtroom drama filmed at closed magistrates' court concludes tonight (Thursday)

Charlotte Booth

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Charlotte Booth

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01635 886637

Newbury stars in Channel 4 drama The Trial

The Trial: A Murder in the Family features a ‘real’ jury and judge deliberating over a fake court case, where a man is on trial for strangling his estranged wife.

The series, which was filmed at Newbury Magistrates Court last year, started on Monday and concludes tonight (Thursday).

As well as the courtroom, other areas of Newbury have featured, including Park House School and Victoria Park.

The only actors are the accused, a man pleading not guilty for the murder of his wife, Carla, and some of the witnesses.

One of the jurors is Newbury town councillor Martha Vickers (Lib Dem, Northcroft).

Lisa Harrington from New Era Players, based in Wash Common, also took part.

Mrs Vickers revealed she was chosen by scouts from the production company, Dragon Fly, when she was volunteering at the Loose Ends charity in Newbury.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News yesterday, she explained: “The casting team said they were conducting an experiment which focused on the jury, and I had never served on a jury. I wanted to know what it was like.”  

She said of the filming experience; “It was intense. We knew it was only fictional, but it felt really real and everybody took it really seriously. 

“You felt you wanted to get justice for Carla, and that her death shouldn’t go without trying your best to get the perpetrator.” 

Mrs Vickers had been called to jury service as a new mother some years ago, but was unable to do it.

She hasn’t been summoned since and added: “I think this would be good training for the real thing. I would like to be on a real jury just to see how the TV experience balanced out with the real thing.”

The pioneering TV series reveals the inner workings of the legal system and centres around the murder of 38-year-old Carla Davis, who was strangled to death in her own home.

The accused is her estranged husband Simon.

The prosecution is led by Max Hill QC, with junior barrister Michelle Nelson.

The defendant is represented by John Ryder QC and junior barrister Lucy Organ.

Presiding is Judge Brian Barker CBE QC, formerly the most senior judge at the Old Bailey.

The final episode of this five-part series will be aired this evening.

The series is directed by BAFTA winners Nick Holt and Kath Mattock.

In 2013, Mr Holt won his second BAFTA for the documentary The Murder Trial which aired on Channel 4 and Ms Mattock made BAFTA award-winning drama Single Murder.

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