Janet Brown murder trial: Case halted after accused taken to hospital

A gran on trial accused of helping to defraud a wealthy heiress was taken to hospital by ambulance as she was about to go back in the witness box

Elizabeth Todd
Elizabeth Todd

A murder trial had to be halted when a woman accused of helping an alleged killer commit fraud fell ill at court.

Elizabeth Todd was due to continue giving evidence to jurors at Newcastle Crown Court, where she is accused of helping Donald Graham defraud Janet Brown and her parents.

However, before proceedings could get back under way, Todd fell ill and paramedics were called to tend to her.

An area of the public concourse outside the courtroom where the trial is taking place was screened off as paramedics assessed the 52-year-old.

She was then led away with the medics and was taken to hospital.

The trial had to be adjourned and jurors were sent home.

Northumbria Police/PA Wire Janet Brown, who disappeared in 2005
Janet Brown, who disappeared in 2005

Trial judge Mr Justice Openshaw told the jury: “She has been taken to court by ambulance. The consensus is that even if she was to be discharged from hospital today, she will be advised to go home and not come back to court.

“In those circumstances it seems to me the proper thing to do is to adjourn until Monday morning, when I hope she’s well enough to continue. These things happen.”

Prosecutors claim Graham murdered Janet, 45, from Lowgate, Hexham, in June 2005.

Graham, 60, of Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, formerly of Sparty Lea, Northumberland, admits fraud but denies murder and a joint charge with Todd of perverting the course of justice.

Todd, also formerly of Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, also denies forgery and conspiracy to commit fraud.

The trial is not due to sit today and will continue next week.


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