Sons and Daughters logo
    Written by: John Alsop   Produced by: John Holmes   Directed by: Graeme Hodgson

Scott tells Fiona that of course he doesn't approve of what Scott - Terry - did to Jill, but when it comes down to tin tacks, he's not going to let his son be sent to jail by anyone. Fiona snaps that he's only scared of what the papers will make of it when the great Scott Thompson's son is hauled off to prison. Scott retorts that he makes no bones about wanting to protect his good name - but Terry is entitled to the strongest defence his lawyers can get together. Fiona snaps, "At Jill's expense?" James Manning suddenly joins walks over to them and says, "Good morning." Fiona immediately snaps that he didn't tell her that he's calling Scott. Manning replies that he appreciates the situation, but once the prosecution introduces evidence of Terry's attack on Jill, their hands will be tied. Fiona retorts, "So you're going to get in early and sling mud at Jill?" Manning explains that they're going to match the prosecution point for point, or Terry hasn't got a chance. He adds that he appreciates how tough it's going to be on Jill. Scott chips in that Fiona has got to weigh things up; which is worse: a few hours' embarrassment for Jill or months - possibly years - in jail for Terry? Fiona turns back to Manning and asks what Terry has to say about this. Manning replies that he hasn't advised him of this detail, yet. Looking incredulous, Fiona asks if Terry doesn't know. She then adds angrily that he won't go along with it. Manning agrees that perhaps he won't - but he's certainly not going to spoil Terry's performance by telling him. Fiona insists that he has to. Manning tells her that she can tell him if she likes - then it will be her responsibility if Terry loses the last chance he has to save his neck. Looking shocked and upset, Fiona leaves them and wanders down the corridor slightly. As she does so, Terry comes inside with Katie. He looks over at James Manning and asks who the guy with him is. Fiona glances at Scott and then replies that she doesn't really know...

Outside, Jill, David and Irene arrive at the courthouse and are greeted by Luke. Looking surprised to see him, Jill asks if he shouldn't be at work. Luke explains that he can juggle it - and he doesn't want to let her go through the day alone. Jill, looking grateful, thanks him. She then adds that she doesn't know why she's scared, but she is. Luke asks who's looking after Fee. Jill replies that Beryl is. They head inside.

A while later, the trial is underway. In courtroom 3, the prosecution barrister tells the judge and the jury that it is his intention to demonstrate that Terrence Hansen, on the tenth of last month, took unlawful custody of one Fiona O'Donnel and subsequently removed the child to Sydney without the consent of her natural mother - and, in so doing, placed the emotional and physical well-being of the child in extreme jeopardy, while exhibiting callous disregard for the feelings of the mother and contempt for the rule of law. Terry, who is sitting in the dock, looks at Katie in the public gallery. She smiles at him, comfortingly.

Irene is sitting on the steps outside the court when David comes along and comments that he wondered where she'd got to. He asks her if she's OK. She replies that she's fine. David asks her if she's nervous about taking the stand. Irene explains that there's more to it than that; she's been in a courtroom: the whole look... the smell of the place.. it brings back a lot of old memories. David says, "Bad ones?" Irene tells him that, the last time she was in a courtroom was the day she lost custody of her son. She goes on that she supposes it's silly - it happened so long ago... The court usher suddenly calls out, "Irene Hope Fisher." David smiles at Irene and says, "Hope, eh?" Irene smiles grimly and says she's been trying to live that one down since the day she was born, so he can keep his remarks to himself! The usher calls for Irene again and she stands up and accompanies David into the courtroom. As they head in there, they pass Fiona. David asks her if she's getting a bit of fresh air. She just mutters, "Yes." David asks her if she's coming in. Fiona just replies, "Later." She sighs.

In the courtroom, Irene is in the witness box, and the prosecution barrister asks her if she can tell the court what frame of mind Hansen was in when he brought the child to her house. Irene replies that he was pleasant enough; friendly - although she guessed something was troubling him. The barrister asks her if she didn't try to establish what it was. Irene tells him that she's not in the habit of prying. The barrister asks her if it didn't strike her as suspicious that a man with no money and no job should be dragging round a tiny baby from pillar to post. Irene retorts, "Not at all." She adds that, in fact, she's never seen a man so devoted to a child - and he started looking for work straight away. The barrister asks her if he was looking seriously. Irene replies that he was. The barrister suggests that there must have been considerable periods while Hansen was looking for work when the child was neglected. James Manning suddenly stands up and snaps that he objects: the prosecution is leading the witness. The judge announces that the objection is sustained. The prosecution barrister explains that he was merely trying to establish that the accused took the child out of malicious intent to the mother, rather than any genuine love for the infant; whether or not the child was neglected during this incident is highly relevant. The judge tells him that he may proceed - but without putting words in the mouth of the witness. The prosecution barrister turns back to Irene and says that Hansen found himself a job as a mechanic at a garage, he believes: is it true that he took the child with him to his place of employment? Irene replies that Terry was only-- The barrister interrupts and tells her that he only wants a simple 'yes' or 'no'. Irene admits, "Yes." The barrister suggests to her that it was scarcely a suitable environment to bring up a young child. Irene retorts that it only happened once - after that, Terry left the child with her. The barrister suggests that perhaps she could refresh the court's memory as to her occupation. Irene explains that she rents out rooms. The barrister asks how many rooms. Irene replies that there are eight. The barrister asks her if she employs anyone to assist with their general upkeep and maintenance. Irene replies that she doesn't. The barrister suggests that she must have been an exceptionally busy woman. Irene tells him that, being her own boss, she can keep her own hours. The barrister suggests that there must surely have been times during the course of a normal working day when she had to leave the girl unattended. Irene admits that there may have been one or two-- The barrister interrupts again and tells her that there's no need to explain - it's an understandable oversight in one unused to child-rearing. Irene suddenly snaps, "I have a son." She pauses and then continues that, furthermore, she's a fully-qualified General Practitioner - which she thinks most people would regard as a more than adequate basis for taking care of a baby. The barrister suggests to her that even a retired doctor can't be in two places at one time - or are her tenants so ideal that they make no demands on her during the day? Irene angrily retorts that there was never any conflict between her duties and taking care of the child; she may have left the room occasionally, but she was never out of earshot; in fact, she'd say that the child received only the highest standard of care - and he may take that as her professional assessment. David looks at her.

Outside, Luke says to Jill that there's nothing more to tell: once his dad realised that it was him, he pulled the rug from under him and told him to get out. Jill says she's sorry. Luke grimly comments that he's out of a job again. Jill assures him that it was worth it just to have him around. She then says she'd love to know where Fiona is - she gets the feeling that she's avoiding her. The usher suddenly calls out, "Gillian Anne O'Donnel." Jill says to Luke that she guesses this is it. Luke escorts her into the courtroom.

A short time later, Jill is in the witness box. The prosecution barrister tells her that, in other evidence, the court has heard Terrence Hansen referred to as the father of the child. Jill glares at Terry. The barrister asks her if she has any quarrel with that description. Jill replies that she doesn't. The barrister then goes on that, yet, at the time of the child's birth, she didn't see fit to have Terrence Hansen's name recorded on the birth certificate; instead, the name 'Brian O'Donnel' appears there. He shows the judge a copy of the certificate. He then asks Jill to explain that to the court. Jill, beginning to look worried, explains that she'd been married to Brian - and it was the least complicated thing to do to have her husband's name on the birth certificate, even though, by the time Fee was born, he'd died. The barrister asks her if she's asking the court to assume that she conducted an affair with Terrence Hansen during the time she was married to her late husband. Jill snaps, "No." The barrister then forcefully suggests that perhaps she could verify how else Terry Hansen can be her child's father: isn't it true that the child is the offspring of a violent and sexual attack by the accused? James Manning stands up and snaps that he objects - the witness is not contesting his client's status as father of the child; therefore, the prosecution's argument has no bearing on the case before the court. The prosecution barrister explains to the judge that the defence's objection does not surprise him - only a denial would have done that. The judge tells the prosecution barrister that the defence is correct in pointing out that they must stick to the facts of the abduction. He reminds the prosecutor to confine his line of questioning to matters directly pertinent to the case. He then adds that he must further instruct the jury to disregard any and all implications of the prosecution's last question to the witness. Manning sits down. The prosecution barrister says to Jill that, after the baby was born, did Terry lay claim to her?; did he provide for her?; did he participate in her upbringing in the way any normal father would? Jill retorts that Terry kept right away - but only because he knew that that was what she wanted; he was thinking of her feelings. The barrister sarcastically comments that that was very considerate of him, under the circumstances. He then announces that he has no further questions. Irene stands up from the public gallery and walks out. David follows her, looking concerned.

A short time later, Manning is questioning Jill, and he asks her whether, at all times, she was confident that her daughter was in no danger from Mr. Hansen. Jill agrees that she was, and she adds that she knew he'd take good care of her and make sure she didn't come to any harm. Manning thanks her and she gets up to go and sit in the public gallery. As she does so, Manning tells the court that he seeks leave for his next witness to be called: Scott Thompson. Jill stops in her tracks, looking shocked.

Out in the corridor, the usher calls, "Scott Edward Thompson." Scotts stands up, looks at Fiona and then walks into the courtroom. Fiona looks worried.

Scott is in the witness box. Manning asks him to identify himself. Scott replies that he's Scott Edward Thompson, 12a Pacific Avenue, Edgecliff, New South Wales. Manning says, "And your occupation?" Scott replies that he's a retired Member of Parliament, currently engaged as a freelance consultant to business and government. Manning then asks him to confirm to the court the nature of his relationship to the defendent. Scott replies that he's Terry Hansen's... father. Terry stares at him in shock. There are murmurs from the assembled people in the courtroom. Manning asks Scott if he's familiar with the mother of his grandchild, Jill O'Donnel. Scott replies that he is. Manning asks him where and how he was acquainted with the young lady. Scott explains that he met her through a mutual acquaintance who was helping Jill back on her feet after an... unfortunate setback. Manning asks him if he's aware of the nature of this setback. Scott replies that he is: Jill had been beaten up - by her pimp. There are more murmurs of shock in the court. Manning asks Scott if he's telling the court that Jill O'Donnel was living off immoral earnings; that she was, in fact, nothing more than a common prostitute. Scott replies, "Until Fiona Thompson took her under her wing, yes." The prosecution barrister snaps, "Objection." He then goes on that the witness's remarks are not material to the case. Manning explains that he's endeavouring to show that his client took the child away from a woman who was unfit to act as a mother. In the public gallery, Jill looks shocked. Manning goes on that Terry's move was undertaken in the child's best interests. The judge announces that the objection is overruled - but Mr. Manning will bear in mind his ruling already made in favour of his client and extend the same discretion to other parties in the case. Manning accepts this. Turning back to Scott, he suggests they move on to more relevant and pertinent matters: is it also true that Jill O'Donnel asked Scott for help in the termination of her pregnancy? Scots agrees that she did. Manning continues, "The same pregnancy which resulted in the birth of the child involved in this case?" Terry suddenly stands up and rants at Manning, "What in the hell are you doing? I don't want Jill's name just dragged through the mud." The judge snaps, "Order! Order!" and bangs his gavel. Terry goes on that he doesn't want anyone raking up something about Jill on his behalf, OK? The judge tells him that he will resume his seat and remain silent or he'll be forcibly restrained and bail will be revoked.

Outside, in the corridor, Fiona is sitting with David and Irene, and she asks why it's taking so long. David comments that they have to break for lunch soon. Irene offers Fiona a coffee, but she declines. Jill and Luke suddenly come out of the courtroom, and Fiona tells Jill not to worry as it'll soon be over. Jill, looking shocked and upset, cries that Fiona's got no idea of what she's been through. She suddenly looks at the expression on Fiona's face and adds, "Or have you?" As realisation dawns, she asks Fiona if she knew Scott was going to give evidence. Fiona replies that she didn't know until this morning. Jill angrily asks her if she didn't do anything to try and stop it. Fiona explains that Terry's lawyer said it was vital to his case-- Jill, though, interrupts her and cries that, if she'd been told, she'd probably have gone along with it for Terry's sake, but at least she would have been prepared. Irene suggests that it's not the time to argue. Jill cries that Fiona didn't trust her. A newspaper photographer suddenly appears from nowhere and takes a photo of Jill, Luke and Fiona together. David quickly jumps in and pushes him away. Fiona looks worried.

Sometime later, in the lounge room at Toorak, Fee is crying, and Jill asks her if she's tired. Luke asks her if she wants a hand. Jill replies that Beryl has just changed her; she'll settle her down soon. Luke suggests that he'd better be going. Jill, though, says that, before he does, she thinks there are a couple of things they should talk about. Luke tells her that he doesn't need to know anything. Jill says she knows, but he must have heaps of questions in his mind after what he heard today. Luke tells her that they were just trying to make her look bad so that Terry would get off. Jill replies that, the point is, everything they said today was true; she'd like a chance to explain-- Luke interrupts and curtly tells her that he doesn't need any explanations. Jill insists that she'd like to tell him, but Luke retorts that maybe he's not making himself clear: if she's prepared to kill an unborn child, he already knows everything he needs to know about her. Jill, looking shocked, retorts that he has no idea what it was like. Luke, though, tells her that he had a little brother once - a beautiful kid - but he died when he was three months old. He goes on that he can't tell her how much that cut him up; still, there was nothing anyone could do about it... but to even think about getting rid of a child deliberately... he doesn't know how anyone could do it - he really doesn't.

David, Irene and Fiona are leaving the courtroom. Fiona looks unsteady on her feet, but as David and Irene try to help her, she assures them that she won't topple over. Irene tells her that she knows how long it can take to calm down after being on the stand. Fiona insists that she would have been perfectly alright if she'd been given the chance to say what she wanted to say - make them see that Terry is basically a decent person. David comments that lawyers always seem to have it their own way; he couldn't even understand the prosecution's main arguments. Irene explains that it's mainly a question of facts - proving that Terry actually took the child... establishing that Jill never gave her consent; the police evidence covers most of that, and the rest is just trimmings. David asks, "What about Scott Thompson's evidence?" Irene replies that she's sure it made some impact on the jury, but whether it can eventually get Terry off... Fiona cries that it has to - otherwise she's put her friendship with Jill on the line for nothing - and with Terry; all the time she was on the stand, he was looking at her with daggers. The courtroom door suddenly opens and Terry comes out, accompanied by Katie. He snaps at Fiona that she knew that bloke in there was going to try and get him, but she just stood there and told him that she didn't know who he was; and all the time...; he still can't believe he's his father. Fiona explains that she had to keep quiet, otherwise Terry wouldn't have let him speak. Terry snaps, "Damn right." Fiona goes on that it was a terrible decision she had to make. Irene chips in that Fiona was only trying to help, the same as the rest of them. Terry snaps that the rest of them didn't set Jill up and make her look like a slut and a lousy mother when she's not. Fiona insists that she can explain - but not there. She pleads with Terry to come home with her, but Terry snaps that there's no way - he'd rather spend the night in some crummy motel than under the same roof as her. He storms off. Katie sighs and follows him. David tells Fiona that he'll cool down once he's had time to think. Fiona, though, sadly says she doesn't think he'll ever forgive her.

That evening, David and Irene are having dinner in the living room at Toorak. Irene comments that Jill is taking a long time settling Fee down - her dinner's getting cold. David remarks that she didn't seem that interested in it. Irene agrees that she didn't look the best. David comments that she's not a barrel of laughs herself. Irene grimly replies, "With good reason." David asks how many times he's got to tell her that she was terrific on the stand; she should forget about the prosecution - he thinks she made a big impact on the jury. Irene retorts that it was only by pulling the Great White Chief routine; doctors use that to browbeat patients into thinking that every word they say is gospel. David points out that it was for a good cause. Irene snaps that she hated doing it - it was the way she had to act the whole time she was with her second husband; she could never be herself with him - he was a highly-regarded surgeon, and the people he mixed with were all creeps. David remarks that he couldn't see her mixing with them. Irene tells him that she didn't drop her aitches... she held her glass carefully... today, when that prosecutor got under her skin, she found herself falling back into the same old habits; she used that medical expert trick to pull rank on the jury, and she hates herself for doing it. David assures her that it doesn't matter. Irene, though, explains that she knows what it's like to be on the receiving end: the day she was in court with her husband, he was a specialist and she was a GP; he used that to walk all over her and steal her son. David points out that the prosecution was using the same trick himself; for his money, she did the right thing, giving him a taste of his own medicine!

Terry and Katie are sitting in Terry's car, in the street outside the O'Briens'. Katie suggests that she should take the rabbit's foot back to the shop. Terry, though, assures her that it's not her fault that nothing's going right. Katie points out that the trial isn't over yet. Terry grimly replies that it will be - and he can't even trust the people who are supposed to be on his side. Katie tells him that Fiona thought she was doing the right thing. Terry snaps that a fat lot of good it did - his little outburst in court had everyone in there against him. Katie points out that it mightn't have. Terry thanks her for trying to cheer him up, but adds that she's wasting her time - tonight's his last night of freedom... at least, for a couple of years. He sighs. Katie looks at him intently and then tells him that he mustn't spend it on his own. Realising what she's implying, Terry replies that she's grown up a lot since they first met; he thought she was a nice kid then, and every day he realises how much more there is to her - but he knows that she's not a kid in ways that count. He goes on that nothing would be easier than spending tonight with her, but it won't lead to anything - and he won't use her like that; she deserves better. Katie points out that it's her decision too - she knows the risks. Terry, though, tells her that he's already made a mess of Jill's life, and he can stop short of doing the same with her. He adds that she's not to think that he's not interested... it's taken a long time to get through his thick skull, but he realises now that, no matter how hard it might be, there are times when it's more important to do the right thing by the people you care for - and that includes her and Jill. He continues that he's going to that court tomorrow and, whether his lawyer likes it or not, he's going to set the record straight about Jill - and even if they end up doubling his sentence, he doesn't care; at least he'll know he's finally done the right thing by her.


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