Silent Witness: Season 6

  • A highly respected Professor of Forensic Pathology at London University, Sam Ryan is in constant demand. Dedicated and driven, she wants to know about the person behind the dead body and how and why they died. Now she has two dynamic new colleagues to assist her: Dr Leo Dalton and junior pathologist Harry Cunningham. Mysteries facing the team include a severed arm, which exposes a police cover-up and prostitution ring; a seven-year-old corpse linked to a violent armed robbery; and the mass murder of a family, the investigation of which reunites Sam with a former love. 3 1/3 hours on 2 Discs. SDH.

    The Fall Out

    Sam and Leo are called out to a major pile-up on a busy road, which has left 11 people dead and many injured. Amongst the wreckage and bodies, they discover a severed arm which doesn’t belong to any of the victims. DCI Deacon (Lia Williams – Dirty Weekend, Imogen’s Face) is also quick to arrive on the scene but, although not leading the investigation, seems to be overly interested in one of the bodies. Sam’s suspicions are aroused and she soon learns that DCI Deacon is not only withholding evidence, but also trying to drive a wedge between her and Leo. Harry, the new junior pathologist, must cope with his first autopsy on a child, which he finds difficult. But as the evidence unfolds, it becomes clear that two of the people involved in the crash were undercover police officers, something Deacon claims to be unaware of. In an unexpected breakthrough, Sam is called to the Thames, where a body is pulled out of the water with the right arm missing.

    Sam, Leo and Harry resolve the mystery of the severed arm but their discovery only raises more questions. There is a significant breakthrough in the case when a young Albanian girl, Nikolla Shala (Celia Meiras), identifies the body pulled from the Thames as her sister. Later, terrified of the consequences of talking to the police, she disappears. But, after a brutal beating, Nikolla contacts Sam and reveals that her uncle, Mehmet Zequiri (Jimmy Roussounias), and his associates are buying young girls from Albanian families with the promise of providing them with a better future in the UK. Once they have been smuggled into the country, they are forced to work as prostitutes to pay back the traffickers. Leo realises that Sam’s suspicions about DCI Deacon (Lia Williams) are founded when the body of an Albanian is discovered in a brothel and evidence links him to one of the undercover police officers involved in the crash. Believing that the crash and the prostitution ring are linked, Sam pays Nikolla another visit.

    Kith and Kill

    Sam and Leo are called to a multiple murder scene. Behind the walls of a suburban home, three family members lie dead and two more are injured. Derek Irons (Adam Bareham), the father, had plenty of enemies. His business practices were ruthless, he had recently argued with his lover, Nina Palmer (Tracy Brabin – Coronation Street), and relations with his son Jamie (Ben Crompton – Clocking Off, 102 Dalmatians), one of the survivors, were clearly strained. But why would anyone try to kill the whole family? The case reunites Sam with an old flame.Tony Ashton (Stuart Graham – Outside The Rules), her first love, is now a Detective Superintendent. He has recently moved to England and is keen on rekindling their relationship. Sam allows herself to be romanced. Meanwhile, junior pathologist Harry Cunningham takes on a routine case of an old lady found dead at the foot of her stairs. He finds evidence which suggests that the death may not have been as straightforward as he first thought. He shares his doubts with Leo, but Dr Dalton is too distracted by events in his personal life to listen carefully and dismisses his doubts. Soon, both Harry and Leo’s professional reputations are under threat.

    The case against Jamie Irons (Ben Crompton) collapses and he is released – only to be found dead by the roadside just hours later. His sister, Lisa (Amber Noble), now out of her coma, is the only surviving member of the family, but she is still unable to tell the police what happened that night. However, she warms to Sam and explains that she and Josh (Russell Tovey), Nina Palmer’s (Tracy Brabin) son, were lovers. Police attention turns to Mike Taverner (Richard Vanstone), the manager of Derek Irons' trucking business, whom Jamie accused of fiddling the books before his death. However, forensic evidence uncovered by Leo and Sam following Jamie’s death tells another story. Elsewhere, Ginette Lucas, Mrs Boardman’s daughter (Heather Tobias) is surprised when the police, sparked by Harry’s post-mortem findings, begin investigating her mother’s death.

    Tell No Tales

    When a lorry crashes into an old factory building, a gruesome discovery is made. Amongst the rubble of a disused shaft lie the remains of a partly mummified corpse. While Sam and Harry begin a careful reconstruction of the shattered skull to find the cause of death, DCI Telford (Ron Donachie – Ivanhoe, Looking After Jo Jo, Shackleton) and DS Linden (Sara Powell – London’s Burning) attempt to identify the body using an old parking ticket and a strip of photos. They soon track down Selina Thompson (Maggie Lloyd Williams), who eventually identifies the body as Marcus Saul (Neil Jackson), her old boyfriend who disappeared seven years ago. It soon transpires that Marcus had some unsavoury connections, not least his friend Karl Benson (Jake Wood), who is now together with Selina, and Tosh Ridley (Stephen O’Donnell). Selina begins to believe that Karl may be involved with Marcus’s death and the police suspect that an unsolved post office job holds the key. Back at the university, drugs are going missing from the toxicology lab. Leo and Harry are roped in by the Dean (Terence Harvey – City Central) to give the students a pep talk. Harry catches the eye of a vivacious student, Natalie Morgan (Nancy Lodder), who just happens to be the daughter of one of the university’s benefactors.

    Sam Ryan gets closer to solving the mystery of Marcus' death and Harry finds himself at the centre of an investigation into Natalie's untimely death. With Karl Benson (Jake Wood) in the clear over Marcus’ murder, the police turn their attention elsewhere. Tosh Ridley (Stephen O’Donnell) pays Selina (Maggie Lloyd Williams) a visit and warns her against helping the police. Selina bravely defends herself against Ridley’s threats, but is beaten up by two of his masked associates only minutes later. But at least Sam stumbles on some surprising new information while trying to help Selina locate Marcus’ parents. At the university, Leo is in the firing line over his post mortem report on Natalie (Nancy Lodder). Samples of her blood contained a cocktail of drugs matching those missing from the university laboratory. The examination also revealed three different semen samples on her body, but no signs of a struggle. Her father, Dennis Morgan (Michael Pennington – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi), is furious about Leo’s controversial conclusions. He is one of the university’s most prominent sponsors and uses his influence to make life very difficult for Sam’s department. As the student body closes rank against the police, it is left up to Harry to uncover the truth.

    Closed Ranks

    Leo finds himself torn between family and work commitments when a body is discovered in similar circumstances to one of his previous cases. He is supposed to be taking a few days off to spend with his wife and daughter, but finds himself having to go to work. It’s the start of a rocky week for Leo and Theresa Dalton (Clare Holman – David Copperfield, Big Women,The Lakes). Sam goes to the scene where she meets Detective Sergeant Philip Carter (Tim Healy – Auf Wiedersehen, Pet,The Lost World, The Grand). Initial theories suggest a serial killer but when the body is identified as Jason Villers, a police probationer, there seems little to connect him with the previous victim, Michael Ottey, an art student. Police attention turns to Ottey’s half brother Thomas Baldwin (Bob Mason) and his wife Sarah (Sian Webber). Meanwhile an investigation gets under way at the police training college. Harry has a visit from Steph Pinson (Esther Hall – Queer As Folks, Spooks), the wife of one of his old university friends who asks Harry to conduct the post mortem on her husband who collapsed at work.When Harry goes to see her to discuss some unusual findings Steph reveals that they have been separated for six months and the pair end up in bed.

    After Sam’s discovery of Gabby Langton’s (Rebecca Clarke – Crossroads) body, Carter’s attention becomes even more firmly fixed on the police college, particularly when he discovers that Sergeant Ron Allen had access to details of the Ottey case which he passed on to his students. Ben Manning (Chike Okonkwo) is devastated by his girlfiend’s death and is wracked with guilt over her last e-mail to him in which she explains why she killed herself – Villiers didn’t rape her. It quickly becomes apparent that he, Alexander Dyer (Nicholas Audsley) and Shaun Nicholson know more than they’ve let on to the police. Meanwhile Harry confronts Pinson (Esther Hall) over the prescription he found in her husband’s wallet. He must decide whether to hand it over to the police and see her lose her job as paedetrician or whether to bury the evidence.