Murder, Mystery and My Family (2018–…): Season 2, Episode 2 - full transcript

The British Justice System,

ranks amongst the best in the world,

but in the past, mistakes have been made.

Between the year 1900 and the year 1964

approximately 800 people were
hanged in the United Kingdom.

Many of those desperately
protested their innocence.

Some of these
long-standing convictions

could be a miscarriage of justice.

She's been assaulted with a weapon

and there's been more than one blow.

In this
series, a living relative

will attempt to clear their family name.

We're looking at a small woman

having to transport this body.

Searching for new evidence.

This is an absolutely horrendous story.

Oh indeed.

With help from two

of the UKs leading barristers,
one for the defense.

Did the prosecution get
it fundamentally wrong

from the outset?

And one for the prosecution.

The marriage was a very troubled one,

so as far as motive is concerned

she had every reason to be rid of him.

They are on a
mission, to solve the mystery.

Submitting their findings to
a senior Crown Court judge.

That must render this
conviction for murder unsafe.

Yes, thank you.

I shall reflect and let you know

what my judgment on the matter is.

Can this modern
investigation rewrite history?

At 1:00 a.m on a July night in 1954,

a couple driving through the exclusive,

North London suburb of
Hampstead, were waved down

by a distressed lady who
spoke barely any English.

On entering the woman's garden,

they were confronted
with a smoldering fire.

Surrounding the body of
mother-of-three, Hella Christofis.

Within hours it became clear

the victim had also been
bludgeoned and strangled.

Blame soon fell on the very
woman, who'd raised the alarm.

Five months later on the
15th of December 1954,

Greek Cypriot grandmother,
Styllou Cristofi

was hanged for the murder
of her daughter-in-law.

65 years on Styllou's
grandson, Tobias Christofis,

is desperate to clear the family name.

I have always believed that
Styllou, my grandmother

was the victim of a
miscarriage of justice.

From people who knew
her and speak about her,

are completely not convinced by the fact

that she could have
committed such an atrocity.

Styllou was the penultimate
woman to be hanged in the UK,

just five months before the
infamous case of Ruth Ellis.

But far from the public
outcry that generated,

there was little protest
for the Cypriot grandmother.

An observation that even
veteran executioner,

Alfred Prierrepoint,
who hanged both women,

makes in his autobiography.

"A few months previously, I
had had to hang another woman

"in Holloway, on the same scaffold,

"which I later repaired for Ruth Ellis.

"The other prisoner had not
been a blonde nightclub hostess

"but a gray-haired bewildered grandmother,

"who spoke no English,
only the language of tears

"that were on her cheek
when I came to her.

"She was the Cypriot
woman, Styllou Christofi."

The case against
Styllou was a contentious one.

Dominated by her mental state,

and her inability to understand English.

But was it a miscarriage of justice

and can a new legal team cast fresh doubt

over the safety of her conviction?

Jeremy Dein QC, has been one of the UK's

most respected defense barristers
for over three decades.

Representing the prosecution
is Sasha Wass QC.

A leader in criminal
cases, where scientific

and medical evidence is disputed.

Today, Toby is meeting Sasha and Jeremy,

who will be re-examining

his paternal grandmothers murder case.

- Hello there, Sasha.
- Sasha, yeah.

- Good to meet you.
- Jeremy.

- Nice to meet you.
- Jeremy, nice to meet you.

- Sit down.
- Thank you.

Well, so Toby, you've obviously done

a lot of research yourself into this case.

Have you formed a concluded view

about whether your grandmother

was the subject of a
miscarriage of justice?

Well there's some doubt as
to whether she did it or not.

I believe that she may not have.

I don't think she was correctly
served by the judiciary,

I don't think the case was
sufficiently investigated

at the time and also, I don't think,

she would have had sufficient
English, as I understand it

she spoke no English whatsoever.

How could she represent
herself correctly in court

if there was a language barrier there?

In terms of this inquiry,
I'll be looking to try

and uncover some new area of
evidence or legal argument

that we can present to
the judge to demonstrate

that you grandmothers
conviction is unsafe.

But for the purpose of this investigation,

I'm going to be looking
at it from the perspective

- of the prosecution.
- Absolutely, yep.

I'm going to be looking
at all the evidence,

with Jeremy, we're working as a team,

and if I come across something,

which I am uncomfortable
about, or causes me concern,

about the safety of your
grandmothers conviction,

then I'll bring that

- before the judge.
- Yes, yeah.

I feel that they're going to
really investigate the case,

we might have, that awful word, closure,

and it would be interesting to know,

with contemporary approaches
and modern day values,

how she would have been treated,
had the case happened now.

In 1904
Styllou Christofi was born

in a remote farming village,

on the north eastern tip of
Cyprus, called Rizokarpaso.

Poverty and lack of education
forced many to emigrate,

and in the 1930s one of those
was Styllou's son, Stavros.

He moved to London and
built a successful career

as a wine sommelier, in
one of the West End's

most exclusive night
spots, the Cafe de Paris.

He lived with his German wife, Hella

and their three children,

in the North London suburb of Hampstead.

It was into this very different
world, that Styllou entered.

When she came to London,
to live with the family,

a year before Hella's murder.

If the prosecution at
trial were to be believed,

tensions between the two women
began almost immediately.

But was Styllou capable of killing?

Sasha and Jeremy are
starting their investigation

by examining the key facts of the crime.

Now on the night of the 28th of July 1954,

one of the neighbors saw into the garden

of the Christofi household.

And what he saw, or
what he thought he saw,

was a mannequin which
had been set on fire.

In fact it wasn't a mannequin
at all, it was Hella,

and Hella had been strangled

and she had been
bludgeoned about the head.

And standing over Hella, was Styllou,

and there is evidence

that an accelerant was used in this case.

Now there was an allegation in this case,

that there was tension
between mother-in-law

and daughter-in-law
and there was a history

of domestic tension in the household.

There was no sign whatsoever

of any forced entry into the house.

And there was an indication,
that Hella's clothes

had been put into a pail,

and that Hella's wedding
ring, had been taken

by Styllou before her body was set alight.

So what do you think?

Sasha, I wonder whether this
case is as open and shut

as one might think.

In her own statement to the
police, Styllou suggested

that the relationship had
improved significantly

in the build-up to the
date of Hella's death.

There's an issue as to language barrier,

and possible misunderstanding by Styllou,

when the police were dealing with her,

in the course of their investigation.

And there's also an over-riding question,

as to Styllou's mental
health, before the trial,

during the trial and even after the trial,

before she was hanged.

So there are a number
of issues to consider.

Styllou Christofi,

always denied killing her
daughter-in-law, Hella.

Grandson, Toby, was born
nine years after the murder,

as his father Stavros, remarried
and had another family.

Today, Toby's come to the very place

which altered his half brothers

and sisters lives, so significantly.

I sort of feel a little bit choked by it.

It's a very you know, heartbreaking,

what happened with the children.

At the end of the day
we're related and you know,

I don't want something like
that to happen to anybody.

At around 10:00
PM, Hella and Stavros'

three children were asleep upstairs.

Hella was at the kitchen
sink washing herself

and oblivious to the fact that
an assailant was behind her.

Preparing a deadly attack.

This is the stove, and it was apparently,

the ash plate from this
stove, that was used,

to administer the first blow.

I should imagine it was
made out of cast iron,

so I can only imagine that ash
plate was incredibly heavy.

Hella, now
unconscious on the kitchen floor,

was then strangled to death.

We're looking at a small woman,

having to then transport this
body, into the back yard,

through and over these steps,

it must've been a mammoth task.

Was Styllou actually physically
capable of doing this?

The prosecution at trial,

asserted that once outside the house,

Styllou used an accelerant
to set fire to Hella's body.

What is undisputed fact, is
what the grandmother did next.

Styllou ran out into the
road on a rainy night,

and stopped a passing car.

And I think, it was they
who raised the alarm.

The next day,
Styllou was charged with murder.

Leaving Toby's father, Stavros,

struggling to make sense
of the horrific crime.

The house is over there,

and he's looking over in our direction.

For me I always associate
my father looking like that,

and carrying that sort of sorrow with him,

through a lot of his life.

One of the key areas

of dispute in the murder of Hella,

is over the role her husband,
Stavros, played in the case.

Astonishingly, the police
initially commandeered him

as an interpreter, when
questioning his own mother,

as the prime suspect, in
the murder of his wife.

There's no information to suggest,

that Stavros wasn't where he said he was,

but there are significant
questions to be asked,

as to the way, Stavros
was used in the inquiry

as an interpreter for Styllou Christofi.

It seems to me that, that presented

a real conflict of interests.

Jeremy, during the course of the trial,

the jury asked for clarification
of a number of issues,

because they appeared not to be satisfied

that the police had done a sufficient job.

We need to consider what
issues, this raises in the case,

with regards to language difficulties.

Did the police fully understand
what Styllou was saying,

was it accurately relayed by Stavros?

His mind must have been all
over the place, you know,

in complete turmoil--

It's not ideal is it?

After Styllou's
charge for murder,

at Hampstead police
station, she was allocated

an official Greek interpreter.

But how could such a brutal crime,

in a residential area go unnoticed?

Sasha and Jeremy, are now considering

the powerful, first-hand
testimony given at trial.

Mrs Christofi, ran the defense

that she was not responsible
for what happened

to her daughter-in-law
and her account was,

that two strangers had entered the house

and committed this shocking crime.

Styllou Christophi said that she got up

to go to the toilet at about
five to one in the morning,

she saw that the front door
was open, so went downstairs

into the yard, where she says,
Hella was lying on the floor,

and saw little flames around
Hella and tried to douse Hella

by throwing water over her body.

She went out of the
front door of the house,

she stopped a car in
the middle of the road,

and that car was occupied
by Henry and Fanny Burstoff.

And he and his wife,
followed her to the house,

where she told them,
quote, "Me smell burning,

"me come down, me pour
water, but she died."

Well at this stage, I think
it's quite important, Jeremy,

that we consider the
evidence of John Byers Young.

John Byers Young was a neighbor,
and he was out for a walk

with his dog and he saw
flames coming from the area,

and it gave him, John Byers,

the impression that she was
trying to stir up a fire.

He said all of that happened
at about 11:30, 11:45.

There's another witness,
Sasha, Isabella Bold,

reported hearing two male voices shouting,

in Styllou Christofi's
garden around midnight.

Suggesting that Styllou's
account of events,

could be correct.

At the moment from what I've seen,

this was a strong prosecution case.

There's no suggestion of
forced entry in this case,

there is some hint that there
were other people involved,

or voices were heard, but it seems to me,

that unless the witness
who saw what happened

in the back yard, is deeply
flawed or undermined,

his evidence is pretty
conclusive of Styllou's guilt.

Conflicting witness accounts

underpinned much of
Styllou's murder trial.

But so too, did the opinionated
tabloid media coverage

which left no doubt, as
to the guilt it ascribed

to the immigrant grandmother.

"Evil Styllou hated their prosperity.

"Hated the way Stavros took more notice

"of Hella, than of her."

"She's an illiterate
Greek, peasant woman."

That to me strikes of inherent racism.

That they're setting her up,
they don't talk about her

in any nice way whatsoever.

It says, "She denied killing Hella,

"and said that the first she
knew of any harm coming to her,

"was when she saw Hella
in flames in the garden.

"A few minutes earlier,
she had seen two men

"in the front garden with suitcases.

"The front door was open
and both men ran away."

That statement about two
men, as I understand it,

was corroborated by two
other separate witnesses.

And if she didn't speak English,

and they didn't speak any Greek,

there was no collusion whatsoever.

It must've been incredibly frightening.

How did anybody know what really happened,

how could she, really, tell her truth?

Language issues,
were not the only concern

over Styllou's ability to
understand the case against her.

Dr. Christie, a psychologist
who examined Styllou,

as she was awaiting trial in
Holloway prison, presented

a potentially, game-changing
piece of medical evidence.

Hi, Professor Perkins.

Sasha and Jeremy are meeting,

legal criminal psychologist,
Professor Derek Perkins,

who has examined the account.

Thank you very much for coming.

Dr. Christie's view was
that she was suffering

from this delusional
disorder, that centered

around her ill-founded
belief, that the children

were unsafe, or not going
to have proper upbringing

in the situation in which they were,

and it was this, in his
view, delusional belief,

that prompted her actions,
in carrying out the homicide.

Now that would only be relevant,

once it had been established,

that the defendant did the act.


Her proper plea to the charge of murder,

in those circumstances,
ought to have been,

one of not guilty by reason of insanity,

would you agree?

Someone may not wish to
instruct for that defense,

because they are so out
of touch with reality,

they cannot really
understand what's happening.

Or it could be, would not
wish to accept something

by way of a defense that would be

shameful to them, for example.

Of course, another option,
is that she may have wanted

to run the defense that
she didn't commit the act

at all that caused death.

Yes, it's not possible to run a defense,

that says it was someone else who did it,

and at the same time,
that you're suffering

from diminished responsibility.

Exactly, you can't run those
two defenses concurrently.

By modern standards, we
are missing information,

not least about her level of intellectual

and cognitive functioning, and
possibly about other aspects

- of her history.
- Yes.

Did Stallou,
carry out this attack,

due to mental instability?

And could a window into her
past, uncover any delusional

or violent behavior?

Toby is meeting barrister
and crime author,

Stephonos Evangelides.

He has details of another
inter-family murder,

that Styllou was accused
of participating in.

I found in the Cyprus
archives, I found this letter.

It's a letter written--

- It's Cypriot.
- By your father's

first cousin, to his aunt,

that's your great aunt, "My
respected Aunt in Alexandria,

"I greet you, I have some
very bad news for you.

"On the afternoon of the
29th of September 1924,

"your mother, she was killed

"by her daughters-in-law and her neighbor.

"Those three entered her
house, threw her to the ground

"and started hitting her,

"with anything they
could lay their hands on.

"They took burning piece of
wood and put them in her mouth

and down her throat--"

This is an absolutely horrendous story.

Oh indeed.

So what would have been their
motivation for doing that?

I do have a theory.

In 1911, a woman named Maria Christofi,

along with her lover,
murdered her husband.


She was a disgrace for the family,

so the family took the
decision to get rid of her.

And Styllou would have been
appointed by the family?


So just for the sake of clarity,

and getting this straight in my head,

Maria Goula, was Maria Christofi,

who had murdered her husband
to be with her lover.

And the theory that you posit, is that

the Christofi family,
would have got together,

and then appointed Styllou, my grandmother

with her other sister-in-law,
and a neighbor,

to dispatch, Maria Goula.

If my theory is correct,

means that not only your
grandmother was a murderer,

but also your great-grandmother.

Styllou was found not guilty

for her role in the murder.

But for Toby, the episode
provides an insight,

into the complicated family dynamics,

she could've been raised in.

Hearing an awful lot about her background

and realizing that, sort
of, almost put up to it

by some sort of Christofi council,

to dispatch somebody who bought shame

and dishonor upon the
family in the village,

that's quite upsetting.

Much of the
concern around Styllou's

inability to grasp the
legal case against her,

came from her lack of English.

But how was this
misunderstanding amplified,

especially around the
issues of her mental health?

- Hi, nice to meet you.
- Hello there.

Jeremy and Sasha need to explore

this salient point so
they've arranged to meet

Greek linguist Petros Karatsateas.

At the heart of this case,

were Styllou Christofi's
psychiatric difficulties.

And she was diagnosed as suffering

from a significant form of mental illness.

You're aware of that

- aren't you?
- Yes.

And her legal advisors, if they were doing

their jobs properly, would
have had to explain to her

in the build-up to her trial,
very complicated concepts,

to do with the legal process,
the choices available to her

and the likely outcomes,
depending on the avenues

she decided to go down.

Are you confident Styllou
Christofi would have understood

first the advice she was being given,

and secondly the process
she was embroiled in?

No, because the variety of Greek,

the Cypriot Greek variety
that they would've spoken,

her and her interpreter,
did not have the full range

of legal, medical,
psychological vocabulary,

to express those notions in the accuracy,

that was required, or
would've been required.

Are you saying that in the
Cypriot version of Greek,

words to do with mental
health didn't exist?

A lot of the different things that today

we can call different aspects of--

- Nuances?
- Nuances,

would all have been,
under the label of crazy.

How might a woman, such
as Styllou Christofi,

have responded to being told
that, one of her choices

was to put herself
forward as a crazy woman?

No one wants to be accused of being crazy,

especially someone who
comes from a small community

where things like that can stick with you

for the rest of your life.

Whereas if they had been able to translate

what you said, making it
sound a bit more medical,

a bit more scientific that would've

- been a bit different.
- Exactly so,

it sounds, from what you're telling us,

as if the build-up to her trial

and her potential, for
understanding, the concepts

and options available to her, was chaos.

- Yes.
- Is that your feeling?

That's my feeling, yes.

Baring in mind the complexities
of these proceedings,

and the need for Styllou
Christofi to fully understand

her options, I need to satisfy myself,

that the quality of
interpretation, was top level.

Because if it wasn't,
there's definitely scope here

for miscarriage of justice.

At the time of the
trial there was speculation

that Styllou and Hella had a dysfunctional

and combative relationship, but could this

have been a reason for murder?

Jeremy, press reports indicated that Hella

had found her mother-in-law so difficult,

that at one stage she gave an ultimatum

to her husband, Stavros saying,

"Look, if you don't ask her
to leave the family home,

"I'm leaving you, I'm taking the children

"and we're all going
to go back to Germany."

And the suggestion in those press reports,

was that Mrs Christofi was was
motivated to eliminate Hella.

What I can say is, that
Stavros and Hella's children,

Nickolas, Peter and Stella,
have recently, made a statement

which contradicts that and
they go on to describe,

how most Sundays their dad would take them

for walks on Hampstead Heath,
teach them to ride a bicycle

and all the fun things
they would do as a family.

And they speak of the
trauma that they've suffered

as a result of their mother's
death and how they were,

quote, "Fortunate to
have the support and love

of their mothers family
and a wonderful father."

Whether they at the
ages of 12, 10 and nine,

would've understood the friction

that may have existed between their mother

and her mother-in-law is open to debate.

Sasha, we don't really know
where those reports came from,

whether they were at all reliable.

I would suggest that the statement made

by Stavros and Hella's children
throws light on how it was.

After Styllou's
sentence of death was passed,

news traveled quickly to Cyprus.

There it triggered a
desperate call for clemency.

Toby has discovered a
petition that was lodged

with the Home Secretary in November 1954.

"We have known her for the past 30 years,

"she came to Farmagusta from
her village at the age of 23,

"she never gave any cause
for complaint and has always

"been honest and in very good
terms with her neighbors.

"We therefore have the honor to appeal

"to the competent authority
that she be leniently dealt with

as an act of grace."

And there were 46 signatures on that.

The murder was so brutal and so violent,

I think that, somebody
who's able to commit that

couldn't hide away
behind the facade or mask

of good character and
innocence for so long,

there would've been tell-tale signs.

With judgment
day fast approaching,

Sasha and Jeremy have identified
crucial new information.

The psychologist who examined
Styllou, Dr. Christie,

requested a second psychiatric opinion.

So matters were brought to the attention

of the Home Secretary
because Dr. Christie,

had given an opinion before her trial

that she might avail herself
of a defense of insanity.

Three medical reports were
produced and interestingly

all three suggested that
Mrs Christofi did not suffer

from any mental abnormality
which would justify

them making a representation
on medical grounds

for a reprieve.

Sasha, Dr. Christie had the benefit

of seeing Mrs Christofi in Holloway prison

and his dealings with her
commenced in August of 1954,

he saw her several times.

I would suggest that Dr.
Christie was in the best position

to reach a conclusion about Mrs Christofi

and his conclusion was as per his report

that she was insane.

I'm afraid that an
inquiry which took place

several weeks after the
conclusion of her trial,

doesn't change my view.

On the 29th of
November 1954, Styllou's case

was put before the court of appeal.

But astonishingly, was thrown
out, in only four minutes.

At 9:20 am on the 15th of December,

Holloway prison, pinned the confirmation

of her execution that
morning to their gates.

Toby has come to Brookwood
Cemetery in Surrey

to pay his respects to his grandmother.

I do feel a strange connection,
it's a family sort of,

subconscious connection that people have.

It's very strange seeing her
name on the side of there.

I mean, my name when I was christened,

it was, Pantopius Stavros Christofis

and two of those names are there.

I feel deep sorrow for the
pain and anguish that my father

and his children must've felt, and yeah,

I'd like to know that she's at peace.

Maybe she wasn't this
evil, horrible harridan

that everybody likes
to paint her out to be.

Sasha and Jeremy

have completed their
investigation and must now

put their submissions before the Judge.

The central part of Jeremy's argument,

is that Mrs Christofi should've
run a medical defense,

suggesting that she was somehow

not responsible for the murder.

She chose to run a
completely different defense,

namely that she hadn't
committed the murder at all

and that failed.

But for the
conviction to be declared unsafe,

Jeremy will need to convince
the judge, of something new.

This was a women who
could barely speak English

with very significant
mental complications,

who had an interpreter who was simply,

not capable of properly interpreting

the complexities of the case.

For Toby,
this is the culmination

of his search for justice, since he learnt

of the family's terrible
secret as a teenager.

I would be delighted if we had
an unsafe conviction today,

she was badly served and she
shouldn't gone to the gallows

convicted of murdering somebody.

David Radford
has over 20 years experience

as a full-time criminal court judge,

including siting at both the Old Bailey

and the Court of Appeal.

Please sit down.

We are here today, for me to review,

with the assistance of
learned council, the safety

of the conviction of Mrs
Christofi for murder.

Now Mr Dein, would you like to make

- submission today?
- Yes, please thank you.

The back drop to this case
is, that Mrs Christofi

came from a small, rural community

in the panhandle of Cyprus.

Coming into the very
different world of London,

and it was in that context,
the suggested motive,

that Hella had threatened
to take the grandchildren

back to Germany, if Mrs
Christofi was not asked to leave

the family home, that Mrs Christofi

is said to have killed Hella.

However, in the course of this inquiry

we have received a letter

from Hella and Stavros
Christofi's children,

which make it plain
that the alleged motive

simply can't be substantiated.

And in effect, describing what a happy

and stable childhood they had.

Even at the earliest
stage of the investigation

the police chose to use Stavros
Christofi as an interpreter,

even though at that time,
his wife had been killed

and his mother was under
suspicion for murder.

This was a most unsatisfactory
state of affairs.

What Dr, Petros told
us, is that in relation

to the part of Cyprus from
where Mrs Christofi emanated,

the dialect spoken, was quote,

"Very different to normal Greek."

that Mrs Christofi would've had trouble

getting her story across to
her lawyers and the court.

Mrs Christofi was deprived
of the opportunity

to advance the proper defense
in the course of her trial,

thus almost inevitably
resulting in her being convicted

of murder and the death
penalty being imposed.

Most significantly,
shortly before her trial,

Mrs Christofi was diagnosed as having,

non-systemized delusional mental disorder.

This assessment meant,
according to Dr. Christie,

that Mrs Christofi was fit
to stand trial, but insane.

On the basis that she
was incapable of knowing

what she was doing.

"The clinical picture,"
he said, "is a recognized

"disease of the mind."

And a modern day psychologist,
Professor Perkins

has said that he does not
decent from that point of view.

Had Mrs Christofi successfully contested

the basis of not guilty
by reason of insanity,

she would not, of course,
have been convicted of murder

and hanged, I may just add this finally,

Dr Petros told us that Mrs
Christofi would have declined

to advance the defense of not
guilty by reason of insanity

because the only way the interpreters

could have translated it was
to say that you were crazy

and that's the word he used.

And that coming from where she did,

that would simply have not being an option

for reasons of humiliation and disgrace.

So ultimately my submission is

that Mrs Christofi's
conviction must be regarded

as unsafe and I invite Your Honor

to conclude in those terms.

Thank you Mr Dein, yes, Ms Wass.

Your Honor, the witnesses
who saw Styllou Christofi

immediately following
the killing of Hella,

Henry and Fanny Burstoff
who were driving past

the road in question,
demonstrate that Mrs Christofi

had the presence of mind
to deny her culpability.

Prosecution suggests that the jury

who had the clearest
evidence that Mrs Christofi

did indeed commit the
killing in this place.

Now the Crown at trial
relied on the evidence

of John Byers Young, he saw Mrs Christofi

bent over a body, stirring up fire

and there was no suggestion
at all in this case

of any forced entry to the house.

So it remains that the only
issue is Mrs Christofi's

state of mind, Mr Dein's
suggestion that had a defense

of insanity been advanced she
would have been acquitted,

it is nothing more than speculation.

There was a conflict between

the medical experts in this case.

Following her conviction
a further inquiry was made

into a Mrs Christofi's mental capacity.

She was examined by three
psychiatrists, each of whom

suggested that she was not insane.

But in the absence of any clear evidence,

the prosecution position
is, that there is no reason

to interfere with the
verdict in this case.

Yes, thank you, I'll
review your submissions,

and reports of the psychologist
and the interpreter

and I shall, in due course, let you know,

- my conclusion.
- Thank you very much.

The legal submissions have now

been put before the judge.

But have Sasha and Jeremy done enough

to advance their opposing arguments?

I think the evidence that Mrs Christofi

actually did the killing,
was pretty clear,

because of the eye-witness evidence

and the lack of anybody
breaking into the house.

And the case turned on
her mental capacity.

People looking at the evidence,

as to whether your
grandmother killed Hella,

might disagree, however, on the question

of whether she was mentally
and linguistically competent,

to be fairly tried, I
don't actually believe

that is open to appeal,
I think it's established,

that she wasn't.

The ideal result for me today,

would be an unsafe conviction.

- Right.
- Based on the fact,

because of the language
differences and her sanity.

- Yeah, well.
- Well we have to wait--

That's all we can hope for.

Let's hope that Judge Radford sees it

from our point of view.

Did Styllou Christofi,

brutally kill her daughter-in-law, Hella,

and then attempt to dispose
of the body in a bonfire

over six decades ago?

Or was she criminally
insane and therefore,

not responsible for her own actions?

The Judge, is now ready
to give his verdict.

This is a tragic case,
when initially questioned

by police, her son, the
husband of the dead wife,

acted as an interpreter
from Greek to English.

But I note that on the
29th and 30th of July 1954,

such an interpretation was provided

by two independent Greek interpreters,

one of whom at least,
specifies that he was Cypriot.

I note the translation
deficit Dr. Petros identified

but that is insufficient in
my view, to lead me to rule,

that those representing
Mrs Christofi, did obtain

reliable instructions from their client.

Mr Dein now submits that
the conviction is unsafe,

of murder because of Dr Christie's
view of her mental state,

in his report Dr. Christie,
was not suggesting

that Mrs Christofi was unfit to be tried,

or was insane at the time of her trial,

but that the insanity
had been one of delusion

at the time only, of the killing.

The possibility of pleading not
guilty by reason of insanity

was then discussed with Mrs
Christofi, with her learned

and experienced council.

There is no evidential basis for doubting

that this was properly
explained and discussed.

However, prior to the sentence
of death being carried out,

at Dr. Christie's request,
three medical experts

tended upon Mrs Chritsofi, in prison,

assisted by an interpreter.

They had not found her to be insane,

and no reprieve was granted.

I conclude that Mr Dein
has indeed raised concerns

worthy of the submissions, but I cannot,

now conclude that the verdict of the jury

on the basis of the evidence
before them, was unsafe

or that verdict should have been one

of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Mr Dein has averted to
the fact that this case

ended with the death
penalty being carried out,

his submissions on that are
eloquent and independently

of what I've concluded, I
have considerable sympathy

for those submissions.

And those are my judgements in this matter

and at this stage I shall rise.

It appears that reluctantly, as you saw,

his tone and demeanor, he's saying

he's not prepared to declare that

the conviction for murder is unsafe,

but he's certainly expressed
some very strong concerns,

effectively saying that your grandmother

didn't deserve to be hanged.

- I don't know Sasha what--
- I agree

with Jeremy's take on this, and I mean,

he said the verdict is safe, but I think

he was undoubtedly very sympathetic.

And the way he put it,
and congratulated Jeremy

on his final submissions
on the death penalty

and how inappropriate it was in this case,

I think, you can take
some comfort from that.

Oh absolutely.

Obviously I'm disappointed, moving forward

what I take away from this is a great deal

of satisfaction that Judge Radford

had sympathy for my paternal
grandmother, Styllou Christofi,

closure for me is that I think
there are other narratives

that haven't been considered

and I will be considering
those in my screenplay.