Silent Witness (1996) s27e07 Episode Script

Death Of A Thousand Hits - Part One

27 speakers across the week.
We get the gist. In five years,
a friendly bot called Felix
will be doing 50 PMs a week.
And still have time to mop the floor!
I'll be future-proofing
the Lyell so we can
stick it to Felix.
Hello, Felix.
Hello, I'm Felix.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
- Thank you.
- You're welcome.
Social media
is a divisive shit show.
A toilet.
The basest form of social interaction
and a weeping sore
on the ass of humanity.
Or should I say the arse of humanity?
Well, let me tell ya.
I wholeheartedly agree.
But the world is changing.
And Kaskade prides itself on being
the social media platform
ahead of the curve.
We don't judge.
Or cancel.
We believe that people are responsible,
and should be treated as such,
that freedom of speech
is a basic human right
You've had the mic long enough!
Big Tech kills!
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
Big Tech kills.
What about your life?
What about our privacy?
Big Tech Kills!
Big Tech kills!
Get off me!
Sit down, please.
So you're visiting from Myanmar, Mr Lwin?
What's your business in the UK?
I'm attending a trade fair in Guildford.
Eco heating and air-conditioning systems.
Says here you need a ticket.
Are you in possession of one, sir?
You should have mentioned
you had a Home Office waiver.
Apologies, sir.
We will get you on your way.
Testator silens
Costestes e spiritu
Testator silens. ♪
Gabriel speaking.
Oh, good morning.
My name is Elinor Shaw.
I work at the Home Office.
What can I do for you, Elinor?
Well, my day job is immigration.
I'm a deputy secretary.
But the reason I'm calling
is because I also sit
on the budgetary oversight panel,
for my sins.
OK, um, consider me intrigued.
Well, I can see that, last May,
you applied for a second-stage
Home Office competed grant
on behalf of the Lyell.
I did, unsuccessfully.
Or are you calling me
to tell me something different?
Well, actually, additional
funding has been freed up
and the panel are now actively
reassessing close calls.
So we were a close call?
Yes, very.
The reassessment would involve
a two-day in-person inspection
by myself, which
I appreciate may not be
It's fine. When can you come?
Well, I've just had a cancellation,
hence the call.
Would today work?
It would absolutely work.
Well, that's great.
- Dr Nikki Alexander.
- Jack Hodgson.
DI John Flynn. Thanks very much
for coming down.
- Greatly appreciated.
- No problem.
- Seeing a lot of this lately.
- What's that?
Drunk and homeless incidents.
A lot of them come down from London
looking for a better life.
Uniforms called in
four ambulances last week.
Paramedics pronounced him dead.
Left him in situ.
Any ID on the body?
No, no.
Paramedics also noticed some
footprints leading to the body
we did the best to preserve.
Prints aren't uniform.
- Can you help me turn him?
- Fine.
Some sort of wooden stake or post
broken off in his chest.
- Where's the rest of it?
- Not sure.
Single from Victoria.
OK. I went to the clubhouse
like you asked, sir.
Oh, right. Uh Dr Nikki Alexander.
- Hi.
- DC Alice Kirk.
Yeah. So, the barmaid said
it was proper cold yesterday.
A biting easterly wind.
- She say anything else?
- Yeah. Yes.
Um, yes. The customer
who was outside for a smoke
told her he saw a man staggering around
in a big coat.
Thought he looked drunk.
I've requested to access their CCTV.
What time did she see him?
Um, around 6pm, when she came on shift.
So he could have been
lying here for up to 14 hours
before he was found.
Three of the nails on
his right hand are snapped off.
- A sign of a struggle?
- Possibly, yes.
And the stake -
is that enough to kill him?
I'll know more after the postmortem.
Nikki, take a walk?
Laying out in the open
overnight and no-one sees him?
- Driftwood.
- Human detritus.
Unseen in plain sight.
So how did he lose his shoe?
I don't know.
There it is.
Here's the rest of the stake.
Could be.
Exposed wood is clean and unblemished.
How did he get on the beach? Hmm?
His other shoe.
- Take a look at this.
- Ah.
There are shoe prints here.
One set of prints to and from.
Just him.
Spacing and tread orientation
suggests he's moving in
this direction, maybe running.
- Trips
- Running, trips,
loses shoe, falls hard on a stake.
Was he running to something or from it?
So the more access you can give me,
the more comprehensive my report,
the more likely the panel
will find favour with it.
Anything you need.
I must warn you,
the panel aren't exactly
fleetfooted when it comes to
the decision-making process.
I remember from last time.
Well, the backlog's grown, I'm afraid.
- Four months, minimum.
- Ah, all good things!
So, where's the rest of your team?
Uh, they were called out first thing.
A John Doe on Fincham Beach.
Not our usual patch, but we have
a reciprocal deal down there.
Staff shortages.
That's a body you can't ID, right?
Yeah, that's right.
Well, not yet, anyway.
- All right, cheers, mate.
- No worries, Jack.
Lonely way to go.
Emptiness, stretching forever.
Very unlucky.
It doesn't look like luck
was ever on his side.
A strange accident, don't you think?
- Mm.
- In the middle of all this nothingness
he happens to trip and impale himself.
Hmm, one set of prints to
and from the broken stake.
Find something that points another way.
There's, er, someone else
I'd like you to meet with, actually.
Ah, Cara.
Uh, this is Elinor Shaw.
- Uh, Cara's
- No, I I understand.
- Oh.
- You're printing your assignment
because your printer is broken?
Nice to meet you, Cara.
Oh, yeah, sure.
What's Cara's role here?
Is she an intern?
Uh, no. Uh, student.
Just doing some work experience.
- Oh, when does that finish?
- Uh Last week.
Um, we applied for an extension
and in the meantime,
she's just doing some observing.
Don't worry,
I know all about assignments.
My son Adam used to get into
a right state.
I used to have to ply him with snacks.
Uh, yes. Shall we?
Hello. Fish speaking.
This is May Lwin. I'm
I'm his wife. You with him?
Where are you calling from, May Lwin?
You're with him?
You're with my husband?
Listen, May Lwin, it's not safe to
Is he with you?
No, he's not.
I'm going to come and get you.
Just tell me where you are.
I know a scalpel from a syringe,
and that's about it.
I am the definition of lay.
But as a deputy secretary, I know
what a functioning team looks like,
and that's what I hope to observe.
A cohesive, efficient operation,
worthy of what could be
a significant grant.
So you'll be shadowing us?
Shadowing you, asking
you the odd question,
speaking to you one-to-one,
but doing my level best
not to get under anyone's feet.
Right. Sounds good.
The fact that you have a live case
in this Fincham Beach death
is, um, well, auspicious.
- Auspicious?
- Instructive,
perhaps I should have said.
Well, come and see us in action.
- Practice, not theory.
- Yes, exactly.
We have the CCTV from the clubhouse.
He was alone.
It doesn't capture the moment
he met with the stake.
You think he was attacked with it?
I don't think we can rule it out.
DI Flynn!
I thought you were of the mind that
the postmortem report would suffice.
Well, I still think it's
an accident, but, erm
I just want to know.
Well, best endeavours.
DI John Flynn. Elinor Shaw.
Elinor works for the Home Office.
She's here to see if we warrant
additional funding.
- Hi.
- Hi.
I think we know the answer
to that one already, don't we?
Oh, my lips are sealed.
But I do promise to keep
my clipboard out of sight.
- Would you mind if I observe?
- No, not at all.
But you might have to ask him.
Are you OK?
Yeah, fine.
Body is that of an
as-yet-unidentified adult male,
approximately 30 to 40 years old.
There's what appears to be a
recent fracture of the nasal bones.
Suffered near death?
Possibly, given the blood.
From falling on the fence, maybe?
Uh, maybe he just hit
the ground face-first.
I mean, it's notable that, uh,
there's only one set of footprints
leading to and from the broken post.
So you're proceeding on the basis
that this was an accident?
We're interpreting the
evidence sequentially.
No foregone conclusions.
There's some sort
of red dye on his teeth.
Could be from Southeast Asia.
Chewing betel leaves
stains the mouth red.
Oh, it's a thing, is it,
chewing betel leaves in Southeast Asia?
Yeah, it's a vital cultural practice.
It also causes tooth decay
and oral cancer.
Well, in terms of an ID,
it'd be great to narrow it down
to Southeast Asia.
Well, he has distinctive
tattoos on his legs
and another one here,
on his left arm.
Dr Alexander has asked me
to dig into the tattoos,
what they mean and signify culturally.
Yeah, well, yeah.
Might just be prison tats, so
There's a healed injury
on his right upper arm
thin, uniform, vertical scars.
Any idea what might have caused that?
But scarring pigmentation
suggests that the wound was sustained
three to four months ago.
It wasn't dressed properly.
There's a grey fibre buried in the wound.
- Er
- Oh.
There's a wound to the chest
consistent with the fence post
recovered from the scene
and a slight scratch
adjacent to the primary wound.
From the post?
From the external wound
and the trajectory seen on the CT scan,
we know that the post entered
the chest at a downward angle,
just missing his heart.
At least, not immediately.
The downward angle is interesting.
In what way?
If he'd fallen on the post,
I'd expect to see an upward path,
with entry from below.
So, that's an anomaly?
Yes, it is.
Ian Fish. May Lwin, right?
Where is my husband?
Where is Htin Lwin?
Can we talk in the car?
If you get in the car,
we can have a proper conversation.
Where is he?
I don't know.
I was hoping you could tell me.
- You were supposed to meet him.
- That's right.
What happened?
I don't know. He didn't show up.
You were late.
He came all the way across the world
and you were late.
Yeah. Just a few minutes. I got
stuck in traffic leaving London.
His last text says he was waiting
for an hour. An hour!
I'm sorry.
I went to the place we agreed
to meet and he wasn't there.
I was waiting ages.
I kept calling, but he didn't answer.
- Where?
- Sorry?
Where you agree to meet?
Fincham Beach.
We go there now.
Maybe someone see him, remember him.
Fine. Good idea.
There's fragments of wood
under the nails of his right hand.
Is that from the post?
It seems likely. Tests will confirm.
There's also a faint blue bruise
above his right knee,
suggesting it was sustained recently.
There's evidence of
congested and oedematous lungs.
I've seen that before.
Drug users. Can be the sign of
an overdose, can't it?
It can be, among many other things.
It'd certainly explain a few things.
No track marks or other obvious
physical signs of drug use.
Maybe he smoked it.
Tox and stomach contents should clarify.
But you're not convinced?
He was in good shape and health.
For a homeless person.
For anyone his age.
There's evidence of
subendocardial ischaemia
which occurs when
the centre of the heart
is starved of oxygen.
See these pale areas?
- Cardiac arrest?
- Yes.
Arrhythmia. Likely PEA,
when the lower chambers pulsate,
but don't pump blood.
You seem surprised.
I am.
There's no sign of coronary disease.
Maybe it was just a new thing.
You know, smack disagreed with him,
he lacked the constitution.
I think we're entering
the realm of speculation.
Could it have been caused by
the impact of being impaled?
It's possible the shock
triggered a cardiac arrest.
Fatal heart attack.
- So that was the cause of death?
- Definitely.
Of that, I'm certain.
So a man comes to the UK. Maybe
he dabbles in drugs, explaining
the congested lungs, maybe not.
As I said, let's see what the tox says.
He decides to jump on a train
and head down south,
something that we see a fair bit of.
3rd March,
off -peak single from Victoria.
He has some kind of like episode,
withdrawal or something.
He runs onto the beach,
he trips, he lands on the fence,
impaling himself
and inducing a massive heart attack.
- Sounds fairly simple to me.
- Certainly fits with the evidence.
As I also said, if he'd fallen on
the post, I'd expect to see an
upward wound tract, not a downward one.
Yeah, but that would depend on the
angle of the post in the ground.
If he was running at pace, he could
have been near-horizontal
at the point of impact.
- Explaining the downward trajectory.
- Possibly.
- We should keep an open mind, though.
- Yes, we should.
Otherwise, I think we're
in danger of tailoring the evidence
to a scenario.
Hi, sorry! Sorry I missed the PM.
I got stuck on Fincham Beach,
and then I think I probably
subconsciously started thinking about
- the last PM I attended.
- Highlights, Alice.
Just the highlights, please.
Yes. Um, no, I found someone
who did recognise him.
A woman who was cleaning
her ice cream van at the time.
She said she saw a middle-aged woman
and she was shouting at him.
- She seemed very agitated.
- Our victim?
Er, yes. She said his coat
was filthy.
And she thinks that she heard the
woman say something about her son,
but she can't be sure because she was
listening to music at the time.
- Did she say what happened then?
- Yes. She finished cleaning, and then
when she looked back, he was gone,
and the woman was standing there, alone.
Why meet here?
Htin Lwin was cautious, and rightly so.
He asked to meet somewhere
out in the open,
where we wouldn't be
observed or followed.
- Why? To do what?
- Rehearse.
Prepare for his interview on BBC News.
You're lying.
Look, May Lwin, I get that
you're upset and worried,
but I'm not the bad guy here, OK?
I'm not.
I'll level with you. I'm no saint and
my career's in the toilet.
I used to be on the nationals.
Regular contributor to Newsnight.
I was a big journalist, OK?
Successful. You understand?
Yes, I understand.
Well, this story is going
to put me back on the map.
It's an important story,
a story the world needs to hear.
It's Htin Lwin's story.
He came here to a safe haven.
They'd kill him back home
for speaking the truth.
That's why I pulled every favour I could
and spent my own money to
get him safely to the UK.
I'm a friend, not a foe.
And, yes, I was late.
That was poor show. That was shit.
But that's all I'm guilty of. OK?
You need to trust me.
- I'm sorry.
- Oh
I think something spooked him
and he's decided to lie low.
- Then why hasn't he called?
- I don't know.
But I say we stay in the area
and wait for him to make contact.
There's a motel down the
- Have you seen this man?
- No. Sorry.
Have you seen this man?
- I'm sorry, no.
- Sorry, no. No.
- Do you want a coffee?
- Uh, no. No, thanks.
Do you know what's the most
impressive part of what you do?
That's the sort of question
you can't get wrong.
It's all evidence-based. You
- You don't jump to conclusions.
- We try not to.
- That can be challenging.
- It can.
There's always
a measure of interpretation.
Yeah, I suppose it's human nature.
We always look for the bad guy.
I suppose it's why we love
conspiracy theories so much.
I'm surprised that you and
Dr Alexander seem to be
chasing rabbits down holes.
We're not.
Oh, I'm just an observer, but
it seemed to me that DI Flynn
was trying to keep your feet
on the ground.
- Our feet ARE on the ground.
- Stopping you from
jumping to conclusions.
What are you trying to say?
I'm sorry. That was inappropriate.
Yeah, it was.
I don't know what's
wrong with me. I
..I seem to say the wrong things
these days.
I guess I've just lost
my balance since
Well, I lost my son
a few months ago. And, um
yeah, I thought I was
dealing with it, but
- I'm really sorry.
- Thank you.
After the funeral, I went
straight back into the fray.
Compassionate leave sounded
like a terrifying black hole.
But now I think I'm
I'm losing my judgment.
Maybe I just need to take some
proper time out to grieve heal.
I'm really sorry if I said
something to upset you.
No, you're all right.
I'm sorry to hear about your son.
Sorry. Excuse me.
Oh, Velvy, have you got a moment?
I just wanted to ask you
if you'd found out any other
information about the tattoos.
Um, yes, they could tell us a lot.
Well, they ARE telling us a lot.
Gang tattoos?
I don't think so.
Um, the tattoos strongly suggest
he is from Myanmar.
Oh. Myanmar?
Well, one resembles
the number six in Burmese,
and one of the symbols looks like
it could be a police badge.
So I think it's, erm,
the insignia of Division 6,
which is an elite armed unit
in the Myanmar Police.
Oh, so he was a policeman.
Well, it fits with the thread of tactical
polyester we found in his wound.
- Fits how?
- Well, it's a hard-wearing fibre.
They're very common in uniforms.
And you're comparing these tattoos
to reliable samples?
Would you show me?
No problem.
My, erm
My computer must have lost power.
The bar.
- What?
- We go ask in the bar.
Oh, the clubhouse. Yes, OK.
- Er, let me go in and ask.
- What?
The people we're up against,
they don't know you're here.
- Much better it stays that way.
- I don't care.
You said you were going
to trust me, May Lwin.
Give me Htin Lwin's photograph.
Two minutes.
I was just looking for somewhere
to watch the match tonight.
- This looked like a good spot.
- Mm.
Oh, I, um,
found this up on the road.
No-one's lost a photo wallet?
It's been difficult
to gather information.
Myanmar is in turmoil
and the Rohingya
are being ethnically targeted.
There was even a massacre,
three months ago.
So the Myanmar Embassy
have no record of him.
But I've found a Burmese
community group here in London
who have helped with
the last of his tattoos.
So, these are, erm,
creatures from Burmese folklore,
invoked by the men
as a symbol of strength.
It is a rite of passage that
is specific to their country.
And what about this police tattoo?
Has that been confirmed yet?
No, but I am confident in my research.
According to the ice cream van witness,
the set-to between
the woman and the victim
took place here, 500 yards
from where his body was found.
- And?
- And nowhere near
the shoe prints.
That suggests he came onto
the beach from the north.
Right. So, what happened
between there and there?
DC Kirk thinks it warrants a closer look.
- Ah.
- Mm.
Be good for you to see us
out in the field.
The more comprehensive the report
Oh, er, yes. Um, yes, of course.
Er, yeah, sure.
So, you made much progress
with the tattoos, Velvy?
Um, yes. It's been a bit difficult,
but, um, I was just telling Elinor
that these are
creatures from Burmese folklore
This is a police emblem and, erm
reliable sources. This is
This is the same as this.
Yeah, how reliable?
These are
You have the double.
We go to police.
No, May Lwin, we can't do that.
My husband is policeman.
They understand.
Your husband stands accused, falsely,
- I know, of very serious crimes.
- Lies.
Nevertheless, if he's arrested
and extradited to Myanmar
But there's no extradition treaty.
- Are you with her now?
- Oh, hello, Mike.
Can you call me back in five?
Cheers, mate. Speak in a bit.
- Can I ask you a question?
- Sure.
How did your son die?
Er, suicide.
He was on a gap year abroad and
they said that he
jumped off a bridge.
"They said"?
I'm sorry.
I never ID'd him.
My son, Adam. I
They said it would be too upsetting.
The damage to his
his body and his face.
They may have been right.
That's what I thought.
That they had my best interests at heart.
And you don't think that now?
My eyes have been opened.
Oh, don't worry, I'm not one of
those tinfoil-hat wearers.
- But I see it every day.
- At work?
Politicians don't want the truth.
They want
sound bites and happy stats.
Whatever selective data
just gives them a headline or
- serves their narrative.
- So
do you think he's still alive?
You know, sometimes, I
I think I see him getting onto
a bus or sitting in a cafe.
It just doesn't make any sense
to me that he's gone.
All OK?
High bacteria and fungus levels
on his skin,
alcohol and heroin in his blood,
and in significant quantities.
Hmm. So maybe Flynn was right.
A homeless addict.
Er, this is Angus Day,
a witness who saw our victim
from the clubhouse.
I feel bad now.
I was going to check he was OK,
but my mate said,
"No, he's just pissed."
Yeah, it's a shame you didn't
trust your instincts.
Where was he when you first saw him?
And you didn't see which
direction he came from?
Why is that important?
Well, a witness said they saw him
standing by the ice cream van,
but other evidence suggests that
he came running onto the beach
down there.
Seems strange that
he'd run along the road
and then come back on himself
down the beach.
I think before I saw him,
I heard something.
Car braking, maybe. You know, tyres.
But you didn't see a vehicle?
No, I'd only just stepped
out here when I heard it.
But after you heard the car,
the man came into view?
- Yeah, I'd say so.
- How soon after?
God, I don't know, four or five minutes.
We'll have to check the road
for brake marks.
We will. All the way back to
the ice cream van.
Oh, Jack
Probably months, not weeks.
- That's our witness?
- Yeah.
Although if Angus is right about
the sound of the braking,
then it's funny that she didn't
hear the tyres squealing.
Didn't you say she was
listening to music?
- Yes. Good shout.
- Wouldn't hurt to double-check.
- Mm.
- See if she can tell us
a bit more about the woman she
saw shouting at the victim.
Um, I'm sorry, I've just
got to make a quick call.
OK, sure.
Didn't get anything much use
out of that, did we?
Um, the Home Office lady, is she OK?
Full disclosure -
I'm not sure if she is, Alice.
Where's that?
Don't know.
- From his coat?
- Mm.
Do you remember the scratch we found
next to the primary wound?
I don't think it was from the stake.
There's a needle mark.
I can see it, now the swelling
has reduced.
And the bruise above his right knee,
you found corresponding splinters
on his trousers, didn't you?
Yes, only on the right leg.
Do you think they could be
from him breaking the post
over his own leg?
He was alone, could have stabbed himself.
Why would he do that?
By stabbing himself with a stake,
he draws attention to
the injection wound.
I guess that makes sense
with the evidence.
If the injection killed him
and it didn't show up in the tox,
we're looking at a pretty
sophisticated method of murder.
One purposely designed
to obscure the truth.
Are you ready for delivery?
Is she ready?
Look, she doesn't know anything.
If I put her on a plane
We're outside.
Are you ready?
Yes. Yes. I'm ready.
Everything OK?
I don't like waiting around.
You said you had a plan.
Yes, kind of.
We had a backup meeting point,
in case the beach
- didn't work.
- Didn't work?
It gets flooded sometimes. I'm
thinking maybe he's gone there.
- OK, we go now.
- We'll leave in ten minutes. OK?
Thank you.
No, no, no, no, no, no
- No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
- Sh!
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