Thursday, September 30, 2010

UK Television: Law & Order: UK, Episode 3.4 "Confession"

Law & Order:  UK
Season Three, Episode Four, Confession
Confession, Original Air Date:  September 30, 2010
Based on Law & Order (US) "Bad Faith", Season 5, Episode 20 (26th April, 1995)

A police officer is found shot in a park and Brooks and Devlin are called in.  The case is extremely personal to Devlin as the officer was his good friend.  The investigation soon begins to focus on the former parish priest of both Devlin and his friend.

Pete Garvey, the deceased officer, wasn't working the night before despite leaving a note for his wife that he was working late.  He had also illegally removed a firearm the property store and the gun wasn't found at the crime scene.  A courier saw two men arguing outside the park.

A question is raised as to whether or not Pete was a dirty cop.  Devlin insists Pete was straight as a string but Brooks states that there are only two reasons someone goes to a meeting armed:  to protect himself or to kill the other person.  Both Brooks and Chandler worry that Matt Devlin might be too close to the case.  Chandler orders them to go through Pete's closed cases since they've already gone through his active cases.

Devlin and Brooks talk with Tommy Morgan, a former police officer who was brought up on charges of stealing cocaine from a drug bust.  The charges were dropped but Matt insists that Morgan could still have been guilty despite Pete's case falling through.  Morgan claims that, on the night of Garvey's death, he had called in sick from work.  Morgan admits that he wasn't sick and wasn't home; he was with one of the girls he works with and the alibi checks out.

Brooks doesn't feel that the answer to the case is in the files.  Matt mentions how Pete was drinking before he died and this leads Brooks to believe that they will find the answers by looking into Pete's private life.  They return to talk to Pete's widow (Ruth Gemmell) and she tells them he had been having problems sleeping for about six months or a year.  The last couple of months, he'd been having nightmares.  She'd found him crying in the dark the week before.  She said he'd gone to see a priest for counseling; Father Jonathan Nugent (Matthew Marsh), Pete and Matt's old parish priest.

Devlin and Brooks go to see Father Nugent and he denies that he was counseling Pete.  Nugent is no longer a priest and now has a wife and kids.  When they leave, Matt tells Brooks about the good things Nugent had done as a priest but also tells him that Nugent was a pedophile. 

When the investigation turns to Nugent, Brooks and Devlin go to speak with some of Pete and Matt's other friends.  Harry Lucas (Johnny Harris) informs them Pete had tracked Nugent down and started watching him.  Nugent had offered Pete £10,000.  Lucas said Pete was building a case against Nugent.  Lucas knows that Pete was still suffering with what had happened to them as kids at the hands of Nugent.  Matt believes that Pete had gotten over it.

Upon recovering the bullet, it was determined that it had come from the gun Pete had taken from the property store.  All evidence points to the fact that Pete killed himself instead of being murdered.  The gun wasn't found at the scene and there was no GSR on Pete's hands.  Brooks wants Pete's gloves checked for GSR because of the looming question of how he could have killed himself with a missing gun and no gun shot residue on his hands.  A forensics report later reveals there was GSR on the gloves.  Brooks and Devlin call the first responding officers in for a chat.  Brooks wants to know why they destroyed a crime scene.  Sgt. Morrow (Martha Cope) insists the crime scene was altered to prevent Pete's widow from losing his pension and insurance.  They dumped the shell casing and the gun in the Thames after work.

Since Nugent didn't kill Pete and since there isn't anyone who can testify against Nugent about the abuse, Steel doesn't feel there is a case.  Phillips continues to dig into things and comes up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Nugent can be charged with manslaughter if they can prove his abuse caused Pete's PTSD.  George Castle is reluctant to give the green light to the case but he agrees and Brooks and Devlin arrest Nugent for manslaughter.

After Pete's funeral, Matt asks Harry Lucas if he will testify against Nugent.  Lucas doesn't want to because he's finally gotten his life back together and feels testifying will set him back.  Lucas refuses to talk about what Nugent did to him but he agrees to testify about what he saw Nugent doing to Pete. 

The Church sends Father Aiden Browne (Struan Rodger) to talk with Castle, Steel and Phillips.  Browne feels that the Church shouldn't be brought into the ordeal since Nugent is no longer a priest.  Steel feels quite differently since Nugent was a priest for twenty years and committed his crimes while a priest.  Browne warns that they step lightly since the Church can afford the best lawyers.  Castle wants steel to put Nugent in prison without making the Catholic Church angry.

On the stand, Henry Lucas relates what he saw happening between Nugent and Pete.  When Nugent's lawyer begins his questioning, he chips away at Lucas' honesty.  He questions Lucas about whether Nugent had ever done anything to him (Lucas) and Lucas says "no" after saying "I can't" in court referring to not wanting to speak about his own abuse.  While listening to the lawyers argue, Lucas breaks down in court and yells to Nugent "tell them" and pleads with everyone as to why no one will believe him.

Nugent, close to breaching his bail conditions, goes to see Devlin wanting him to sign the form.  Nugent has the gall to ask Devlin if he would want an innocent man to go to jail and looks him in the eyes and tells Matt he didn't abuse him.  Matt signs the form, reluctantly.

In court, Nugent's attorney presents evidence claiming that Pete was blackmailing Nugent for £10,000 and shows that the money was indeed deposited into an account in the name of Pete's son, Danny.  Nugent claims that he was trying to protect Pete and his family and didn't want him to be known as a blackmailer.  The case is dismissed.

Still working on the case against Nugent, Steel and Phillips want to know where Nugent is finding his victims now that he's no longer in the priesthood.  Steel feels the Catholic Church is hiding something and wants to know what it is.  Steel threatens the Church with a civil suit and Browne turns over a list of names abused by Nugent Browne had collected since talking to Steel the first time.

When presented with the list of 44 names and the threat of 44 counts, Nugent and his lawyer want to plead to some of the counts.  Steel refuses and wants the case to go to court so every one of Nugent's victims can face him there. 

Matt Devlin goes into court and testifies about when he was a boy Pete had come to him about a pornographic magazine Nugent kept at the church and things Pete had said to him about what he and Nugent had done.  Nugent's lawyer is able to rattle Matt on the stand but despite what appears to be damage to the prosecution's case, the jury finds Nugent guilty on all counts.

Matt is left to deal with the agony of whether he could have prevented Pete's death and even questions what he does and doesn't remember clearly about his own childhood with Nugent.

Law & Order:  UK airs on Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m. on ITV1 in the UK.
For more information:
Law & Order:  UK ITV1 Official Site:
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