Archers’ jury verdict attracts widespread attention

It is only a radio programme, but the trial of one of the main characters has generated huge interest and led to donations of £150,000 to a charity that supports the victims of domestic abuse.

The character, Helen Titchener, was found not guilty of attempting to murder her abusive husband Rob in the longstanding and much-loved radio serial, The Archers.

Millions of listeners to the BBC Radio 4 soap tuned in as the fictional trial drew to a close with the jury's verdict. After a week-long trial, the jury at “Borchester Crown Court” also found her not guilty of wounding with intent over the incident, in which Rob was stabbed.

The serial also attracted expert comment from barristers, who analysed in detail the quality and style of the cross-examining “barristers” in the programme.

Jeannie Mackie, criminal barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, told The Guardian that “Helen’s” barrister was “not making a very good job of it. I don’t know if [the writers] are making her deliberately bad and making her psychological state a subplot, or whether they haven’t written it in a way that is realistic, legally.”

Criminal Defence Barrister - myBarrister