Janet Brown murder trial: Donald Graham is branded the Prince of Darkness by lawyer

Barrister on murder accused: "She must have thought she had met Prince Charming. You may think instead she had met the Prince of Darkness"

Janet Brown
Janet Brown

Murder accused Donald Graham was branded a “greedy liar” and “the Prince of Darkness” by his co-accused’s barrister.

Glenn Gatland, representing Elizabeth Todd, said the “Mrs Cannybody” canteen assistant and single mother thought she had met her Prince Charming when Graham came into her life.

But Mr Gatland said the Ferrari-driving charmer was in fact “womanising, over-bearing, manipulative, domineering, frightening on occasions and a greedy liar”.

Making his closing defence speech for Todd, Mr Gatland claimed Graham had identified Todd as a lookalike for the woman he allegedly murdered, Janet Brown.

And the barrister said Todd never had a proper relationship with Graham and never made a penny out of his fraud on Janet and her parents.

Mr Gatland told jurors at Newcastle Crown Court: “Elizabeth Todd was a divorced single mother bringing up two teenge boys, working as a canteen assistant and has been described as a Mrs Cannybody.

“She then meets Donald Graham, a Ferrari-driving, tall, dark, bejewelled with gold chains, man.

“She must have thought she had met Prince Charming at that point in time. You may think instead she had met the Prince of Darkness.”

Mr Gatland suggested the “sinister persective” of Graham having identified Todd as a lookalike for Janet.

He said: “We suggest Graham was planning the fraud on Janet and he was thinking ahead and thinking perhaps he needed someone to be Janet if she was not here.

“He sees Mrs Todd and thinks she bears a striking resemblance to Janet.

“You may think Mrs Todd in 2005 was a very good lookalike for Janet Brown.”

Mr Gatland urged jurors compare the two defendants and find Todd not guilty.

He said: “He is womanising, lying, over-bearing, manipulative. He was domineering and frightening on occasions. He is a greedy liar.

“Mrs Todd is of good character and her friends describe her as honest, trustworthy and caring.

“She is a loyal mother and grandmother, very naive, very needy, very vulnerable. She is Mrs Cannybody.

“Elizabeth Todd is in your care, members of the jury. You have the power, by finding her not guilty, to send E.T. home.”

Graham, 60, of Elsdon Avenue, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, denies murder and perverting the course of justice but admits fraud.

Todd, 52, of Elsdon Avenue, denies, fraud, forgery and perverting the course of justice.

The trial continues.

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