Law & Order: UK
Season Four, Episode Two, Denial
Denial, Original Air Date: November 4, 2010 (Canada)
Denial, Original Air Date: March 14, 2011 (U.K.)
Based on Law & Order (US) "DNR", Season 10, Episode 3 (6th October, 1999)
A high court judge is shot when she and her husband return from their vacation cottage. At first, it appears to be a carjacking but, as the details of the case start to not add up the judges husband becomes a suspect for hiring her murder. However, the judge insists her husband couldn't have done it as he was always with her and never had the opportunity to call the shooter. Are they suspecting the wrong man or is the judge lying?
Rachel Callaghan (Juliet Stevenson), a high court judge, is shot in a car park and her car is stolen. A tube of red dye gel is found at the scene. If sprayed in an attackers face, it will not wash off for seven days. From hospital, Devlin calls to order the GPS tracking device in Judge Callaghan's car be activated. He and Brooks talk with the judges husband, Dan Callaghan (John McArdle) who didn't notice anyone suspicious in the car park.
The police locate where the GPS device signal stopped. The tracking device is at the location but the car is not. They get a time and location of the stolen car off CCTV and can see that there are two men in the car but their faces cannot be seen. The plates are cloned. Angela (Jessica Gunning) finds the location where the car is parked in the city and gives the information to Brooks and Devlin.
They find the car but the current owner, Nick (Oliver Le Sueur) claims the car is his. In interrogation, he admits he didn't know the car was stolen even though he got a £56,000 car for £8,000. He bought the car the day before and didn't know the name of the man who sold it. He met the man in a scrap yard in Putney because he needed a car to look the part for his job and to impress a woman. He identifies a photograph from a lineup but says the man did not have red paint on his face.
The police go to arrest the man Nick identified, Marty Flynn (Duane Henry), but he runs when they arrive. Devlin catches him and they arrest and take him back for interrogation. Marty tells them they want Eddie Wade, not him. He denies shooting the judge despite a gun having been found in his flat. Marty tells them Eddie had already stolen the car when he asked him to help him. Eddie had paint on his face and needed Marty to take the car down to a dealer he had lined up as it was supposed to be shipped abroad. Marty did the £8,000 deal with Nick and that angered Eddie who insisted the car should have been shipped to Africa. Eddie wasn't interested in the money. He said he was onto something a lot bigger than the Mercedes and Marty had bungled it. Eddie told him to sit and wait for a £10,000 payment.
Chandler theorizes that if the interest wasn't in the money for the stolen car, Eddie might have been paid by someone to shoot Judge Callaghan. Eddie had given Marty a mobile that someone should have called to make the second payment while he went into hiding wearing ski goggles to hide the red paint on his face. Chandler orders a nationwide search for Eddie and surveillance for his flat in the event he returns home. The bigger question is who wanted the judge dead. Brooks knows of one person who knew the couple were returning home early: the judges husband.
Brooks and Devlin question the judge and show him Eddie's photo. He denies knowing him or the name. He is angered when Devlin asks if he and his wife are getting on okay. They go in to speak with the judge alone. She is able to identify Eddie from the photograph they show her. She tells them that had her husband not taken the tacky old mirror they brought back with them into their home she might not be in hospital right now. That conflicts with what her husband had told them the night she was shot as he claimed she wanted him to take the mirror inside.
The police are able to find one number taken from the phone Eddie had given Marty. They go to speak with the judges clerk to see if there are any other possible suspects. Her clerk, Andrea Poole (Natasha Gordon), had called about a conference the judge needed to attend. She is shocked to learn the attack on the judge is possibly an attempted murder. Andrea knew of a few highly emotive cases the judge had ruled on.
Going through the judges ongoing cases, Devlin and Brooks come across a man named Walter Reeves, a site manager who was running a protection racket on service companies. The judge was building a case against him. One of the companies in Reeves' pocket is Aeroclear, a company Eddie Wade just so happened to work for up until three years ago. Aeroclear also happens to do repairs on the building the judge lives in.
Brooks and Devlin interview the concierge of the building where the judge lived. He had tried to change the air con company and Walter Reeves sent two men around to 'change his mind'. He did as Reeves wished and doesn't want to give evidence against Reeves as he has family and worries for their safety. He tells them he was the one who blew the whistle on Reeves which led to the judge starting to dig around into Walter Reeves' dealings. The judge kept his name out of things for his own protection.
They next speak with the man who runs Aeroclear, Zaki Smith (Edward Hughes). He wants to put Walter Reeves away as much as anyone else. He also claims Eddie Wade would never have done any work at the judges building as the company had gotten the maintenance contract seven years ago on Dan Callaghan's recommendation. He tells them they worked together a lot before Dan Callaghan and Eddie Wade fell out with one another. They find out about a shopping mall job Callaghan and Eddie had done together that led to their falling out.
They bring Dan Callaghan in for interview and again show him the photo of Eddie. He identifies him as the man who shot his wife because they had shown him the photo before but still denies ever having known or seen him before. They present him with the information about the shopping mall project he and Eddie Wade worked together. He gets a touch rattled but still denies knowing him. Devlin asks him who wanted the mirror unloaded and Dan again tells them it was his wife's. He tells Callaghan his wife had said it was his idea and that they had been arguing that day. Callaghan becomes overcome with emotion and tells them that Rachel has lost the use of a kidney and is getting worse. He gets up to leave to go to her but Brooks stops him and places him under arrest on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.
In court, Judge Mary Hall (Diana Quick) reads a statement from Rachel Callaghan stating her husband was with her at all times and had no opportunity to call and arrange her murder. Alesha argues against the statement and strongly objects to bail for Callaghan. Callaghan's attorney, Simon Wheeler (Terence Harvey), reveals that most of the Callaghan's money is tied up in trusts and that what is available now is earmarked for Judge Callaghan's care. The judge grants bail on certain conditions, the first being assurance of £50,000, an amount Dan Callaghan's attorney said his client could provide.
Alesha tells Steel and Castle about Wheeler's revelation of the Callaghan's money being tied up in trusts and that Dan Callaghan does not have access to his wife's money. There are no large withdrawals from Dan Callaghan's personal accounts but he was in Oxford Street the day the phone was bought. They really have no evidence against Dan Callaghan. Everything is circumstantial.
Alesha visits Judge Callaghan and her daughter Lindsay (Georginia Rich) in hospital to ask about the alibi she had given her husband. She maintains her husband was with her every minute and had absolutely no time to make a call to order her murder. When Alesha tells the judge about her husband lying about knowing Wade and about who wanted the mirror taken into their home the judge chastises her and says she will give evidence on his behalf if they prosecute him.
Lindsay Callaghan catches up to Alesha as she is leaving to ask why they have to make things harder on her mother. Alesha questions if the judge was as curt with her father as she was with her (Lindsay). Lindsay tells Alesha the judge intends to sue the hospital for causing her renal failure and that they are wrong about her father. Her mother's insurance and estate go to Lindsay's children.
The financial motive has disappeared but an eyewitness has come out. A woman who lives on the same lane where the Callaghan's cottage is located insists she saw Dan Callaghan in the garden just five minutes after the call was made to Eddie Wade. The same woman had thrown a party the night before and Dan Callaghan was drunk and introducing himself as Mr. Rachel Callaghan which led to the couple arguing.
Steel and Phillips speak with Dave Jordan (Paul Ridley), Dan Callaghan's former architectural partner. Jordan had let Callaghan go as he was a liability. Rachel Callaghan never knew Dan was let go and Dave Jordan covered for him when she showed up at the offices wanting to speak with her husband. The couple had put a deposit on some land in the Lake District where Dan could build their dream home but Rachel's promotion put a damper on those plans. Dan was able to get £20,000 of the £25,000 deposit on the Lake District land back in cash. Steel receives a call that the call to Eddie Wade was placed from within 500 metres of the Callaghan's cottage.
When Judge Callaghan is presented with the new information about the location of the call she says that someone was obviously following them and, when they saw them loading up their car to return home, made the call ordering her murder. Her husband still couldn't have been involved. She finally admits that Dan went into the garden but she could still see him through the window the entire time he was there. When the judge says she knows her husband better than anyone, Steel drops the bombshell in her lap that Dan had lost his job surprising both Rachel and Lindsay Callaghan.
Steel and Phillips arrive in Castle's office to tell him they know Rachel Callaghan is lying. He informs them Rachel has asked her doctors to withdraw her medication because she wants to die.
In court, Steel makes the request to examine Rachel Callaghan on video because of questions of truthfulness in the original statement she had made. Wheeler argues against this but tells the judge Rachel is prepared to give evidence one last time on what happened the day in question. The judge allows Steel to proceed despite continued protests from Wheeler. She warns if Steel pushes Rachel Callaghan one step too far, she will stop proceedings. Later, even Castle warns Steel of the dangers of questioning Rachel. Steel promises he will be careful in his questioning of the judge.
Rachel still insists Dan never left her sight on the day in question and still maintains someone must have been watching them. Steel delicately pushes her harder but she holds with her story. He tells her about Dan taking the £20,000 deposit for their property back in cash and that it was the exact amount of money Eddie Wade was promised if he killed her. Wheeler wants to stop proceedings and the judge questions Rachel if she is alright. After Rachel admits she is, the judge orders Steel to step lightly and questioning continues. Steel reminds Rachel of her loyalty and oath to the law. She admits to Steel she would act the same way he is if she were faced with a similar situation in court. He begs her one last time to tell the truth. Again, she provides an alibi for her husband.
In the hall, Lindsay Callaghan asks if her mother stuck to her story. Lindsay tells Steel and Phillips that the judge knows Dan Callaghan ordered her murder. As they are talking, the nurses station receives warning that the judge is going into renal failure as she has disconnected her dialysis machine.
In court, Steel challenges Rachel Callaghan's mental capacity in light of her suicide attempt. Wheeler objects but Judge Hall grants Steel permission for his psychiatrist to examine Rachel. Judge Hall later speaks with Castle about her worries for Rachel Callaghan and that Dr. Armitage has recommended she be put on suicide watch. In court, Judge Hall declares Rachel not competent to give evidence in Dan Callaghan's case.
George Castle pays a visit to Rachel in hospital. The two talk about old memories and better times. Wheeler and Dan Callaghan come to see Steel and Phillips to tell them they intend to appeal Judge Hall's decision. Castle tells Rachel she could come to terms with her condition in time. She can't see what she has to live for. He speaks plainly and clearly to her about how she should be thinking, what she has to live for and about her lying for Dan. Dan describes the relationship between he and Rachel and starts talking about the day in question. Rachel tells Castle the truth about what happened the day she was shot. Dan confesses to making the call to Steel and Phillips. Castle insists that now she has told the truth, Rachel needn't die. She still wants to terminate her treatment.
Castle receives a call that the court decided to revoke its decision and Rachel's treatment was terminated. She wants her husband with her as she is dying. Castle and two PC's take Dan to Rachel's hospital room where they are able to embrace before she dies.
Law & Order: UK airs on Thursday nights at 10:00 p.m. on CityTV in Canada. Season Four is currently not airing in the UK and will air at a later date.
For more information:
Law & Order: UK ITV1 Official Site: http://www.itv.com/drama/copsandcrime/lawandorder/
Internet Movie Database: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1166893/
TV Rage: http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-18198