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What you must decide (after the role play)

Cast list

Situation

THE INVESTIGATION

Possible follow-ups

1. Choose an evening's viewing for

a) a foreign visitor whose Russian is good and who is very interested in learning more about Russia and our way of life;

b) a foreign visitor whose Russian is not very good.

2. Write a composition on one of the following topics:

a) The year 2000. What changes in television would you ex­pect to have taken place?

b) The pros and cons of TV educational programmes.

c) The challenges of TV for teenage viewers.

Mrs June Brown was detained for shoplifting. She was accused of having stolen a girl's woolen pullover. Mrs Brown refused to say anything and consequently the police were called and she was charged with theft. The facts are the follow­ing:

Mrs Brown was in a hurry. She wanted to buy a new pull­over for her daughter Jean before taking her to her cousin's birthday party. Mrs Brown found a pullover in the shop she called at with her daughter on her way to the party. As soon as she had paid for the pullover she saw that Jean had chocolate all over her face and hands. Furious she asked a sales assistant where the toilets were. Then in the toilet Mrs Brown changed Jean's old pullover for the new one. They would have to run if they were going to ever get to the party. But in the street she

was grabbed by a man accompanied by a woman. The woman said that they had reason to believe that Mrs Brown was shop­lifting. The evidence against Mrs Brown was that the woman, Mrs Baker, a store detective, had entered the toilets and had seen Mrs Brown, putting a new pullover over her daughter's head.

You are to enact the preliminary investigation of the case conducted by two counsels: the counsel for the Prosecution and the counsel for the Defence.

Mrs June Brown, the accused

Mrs Mary Baker, a store detective

Miss Becky Smith, a sales assistant

Mr Clark Timpson, the sales manager

Miss Nora Lain, a customer in the shop

Counsel for the Prosecution

Counsel for the Defence

On the basis of the evidence collected by the two counsels during the investigation you must decide whether the matter should be brought to court.

Counsel for the Defence Aged 39

While interviewing the participants of the incident — Mrs Brown, the defendant, Miss Smith, the sales assistant, Mrs Baker, the store detective, Mr Timpson, the sales manager and Miss Nora Lain, a customer — you try to prove that your client is innocent and the charge brought against her is ground­less. In summing up your arguments you emphasize that a sus­pect is innocent until proven guilty. You have no doubt that this is an "open-and-shut" case and should never be brought to trial.

Counsel for the Prosecution Aged 45

In the course of the investigation you interview everybody concerned: Mrs Brown, the accused, Miss Smith, the sales as­sistant, Mrs Baker, the store detective, Mr Timpson, the sales

manager and Miss Nora Lain, a customer. You ask everybody to tell you about their part in the incident and thus you make them reveal the basic facts of the case and their respective role in it You try to verify the truthfulness of their testimony. First ask them questions about themselves: their name, occupation, the reasons for their actions in the situation with the idea of looking for things that will make Mrs Brown seem guilty. On completion of the investigation sum up your observation.

Mrs June Brown Aged 30

You are a part time school teacher with two children of your own rather difficult to manage. Thus you are always pressed for time and easily lose your temper. During the investigation you show your indignation at the false charge imposed upon you. The only person you are willing to talk the matter over is your lawyer whom you give a full and truthful account of your be­haviour in the shop. When you were stopped that day by the sales manager and accused of shoplifting you felt insulted and became angry.

Miss Becky Smith Aged 20

You have been working as a sales assistant for three years. That day you were serving on the knitwear counter. You re­member a woman who you now recognise as the defendant, Mrs Brown, buying a pullover for her daughter. You remember her well because the girl was eating a chocolate ice-cream and smeared it all over her face while Mrs Brown was paying for the pullover. The customer said she must clean the girl up as she was taking her to a birthday party. You showed Mrs Brown where the toilets were and she hurried away.

Mrs Mary Baker Aged 37

You are a store detective. Previously you were employed as a policewoman. In all your years of working for the police you have never made a false arrest. That day as you entered the toilets of the store you saw a woman taking the labels off a new pullover and putting it on her daughter. The woman seemed very nervous and excited. When you entered she immediately hurried out. Her behaviour made you suspect her of stealing the pullover. You followed the woman, calling the Sales Man­ager, Mr Timpson, to help you. When you stopped the woman

outside the store she became very angry and refused to say anything in her defence so the police were called and she was formally charged with shoplifting.

Mr Clark Timpson Aged 32

You are a sales manager at a large department store. Your job is to supervise the sales on the ground floor of the shop. That day you noticed one of the store detectives, Mrs Baker, trying to attract your attention. You realized that she was fol­lowing someone she suspected of shoplifting. You joined Mrs Baker and as the suspect left the shop you grabbed her by the arm. Mrs Baker told the woman that she was suspected of shoplifting. The woman became very angry. You took her to your officer but she continued to protest about being arrested. She insisted on having paid for the pullover but refused to show you the receipt. She refused to say anything until her lawyer arrived. You therefore called the police and the woman was charged with shoplifting.

Miss Nora Lain Aged 40

You are a secretary at an office. You don't like to go straight home after work (you are single), so very often you go window-shopping. That day as you were in a large store and entered the toilets you saw a woman hurriedly changing her daughter into a new pullover. She left the toilets in a hurry. You followed her (you are a great reader and admirer of Agatha Christie). After the woman was stopped by some people and the police arrived you addressed the police officer offering him evidence. You are enjoying it all, absolutely sure that justice must be done. You even hope that the case will get into the newspapers and the girls at the office will see your name or even a photo.


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