Series 16 Episode 37:
Written by Ann-Marie Di Mambro

As Duffy is driving to work, with baby Paul in tow, a woman wanders out in front of her car. Duffy brakes and manages to avoid hitting her, but gets out of the car and discovers that the woman is in a bad state – she has obviously been assaulted. Duffy offers to phone for an ambulance but the woman says no. Duffy persuades her to get her into the car, and drives her to A&E. As she arrives she asks Roxanne for help, but the woman shrinks away from her, so Duffy says she’ll stay with her, and asks Tony to take care of Paul. Seeing him, Lara complains about Duffy’s lack of professionalism, saying she has no right to bring her problems into earth. She is interrupted by a man carrying a baby, who says ‘Children are not problems.’ He introduces himself as Harry Harper, the new consultant. He also has a teenage son with him. In Charlie’s office, he explains that the childminder walked out on him this morning. He says he thinks there’s more to it, but his wife, a QC, refuses to tell him any more. He says he’d better hit his office, but that he hates that part – he’d rather be on the front line. Later, Duffy takes Paul off Tony’s hands. Harry, still carrying his baby, comes in as Tony leaves, and introduces himself. Duffy tells Harry that her mum’s coming to pick him up, and offers to ask her to look after Harry’s kids as well.
James Meadle is playing the piano when a brick is thrown through his window. Outside, people are shouting abuse, saying he is a child molester. Later he has to go out to buy some food for his dog, and in the shop, people are talking about him. Outside, he is accosted by Vicky and Jean, who grab hold of him, hurling abuse. James runs across the road to avoid them, and Vicky follows, and is hit by a car. James goes to help, but Vicky and her friend Jean tell him they don’t want his help. James walks away, but suddenly collapses, clutching his chest. Both he and Vicky are taken to Holby A&E. As Dillon is treating James Meadle, Charlie goes into the cubicle, and recognises Mr Meadle – he was his music teacher at school. When Mr Meadle recognises Charlie he gets upset, and asks him to leave. Charlie reluctantly does so. He tells Colette, who has been treating Vicky. Colette repeats to Charlie what Vicky has told her – that he’s a child molester. Charlie can’t believe this. He goes to see Vicky, who tells him Mr Meadle has been suspended for interfering with a young boy. Charlie says it must be a mistake, and Vicky, angry, shouts out for everyone to hear that James Meadle is a child molester. Charlie tells her that if she repeats her outburst she’ll be thrown out. He goes to Dillon, explaining the situation, and asks if he can try to find out Mr Meadle’s side of the story. Dillon says he’s being hypocritical, after telling him not to get involved with Gemma, but agrees to do it as a favour to Charlie. Dillon talks to Mr Meadle, who swears he never touched the boy. He says there was a boy, Gareth, whom the school couldn’t handle. He started teaching him the piano, hoping that through the music he’d somehow be able to reach out to him. Gareth just turned up at his house and he couldn’t not let him in. So the police accused him of molesting him. They had to drop the charge through lack of evidence, but that didn’t stop what followed. Dillon says he was just trying to help the boy, and did nothing wrong. Upset, Mr Meadle says he was never drawn to women but to men, and maybe he is what they say he is. Dillon tells him that being gay doesn’t make him a paedophile. Suddenly Vicky and Gemma burst into the cubicle, shouting more abuse. Mr Meadle suddenly goes off. He is taken to resusc, and Charlie, Dillon and Harry fight to save his life, but they are getting nowhere and have to stop. Dillon tells Charlie he was right – Mr Meadle wasn’t a molester. Charlie says he loved children – they were his life. Dillon says that’s not true – they were his work, though they were the best part of his life. He says that Mr Meadle had nothing apart from his work, and when his career was in jeopardy, that destroyed him. As Vicky and Jean are leaving, Charlie stops them. He tells them that Mr Meadle has died. He says Mr Meadle never harmed a soul in his life, which is more than can be said for them.
Anna and Nikki keep having a go at Roxanne about her boyfriend Hakkan, who is sleeping at their house. They say they want him out – there’s hardly enough room for three of them, and they suspect he’s stealing from them. Roxy reluctantly agrees to tell him. She phones home, saying she wants to talk to him and will come home later, but Hakkan tells her he’s on his way out to a job interview. He puts the phone down, then picks up the television and carries it out of the house into a van. He continues to strip the house of its furniture, loading it into the van. As he puts the fridge in the van, it sways, and falls on top of him. An ambulance is called, and Nikki and Comfort arrive. When Nikki sees Hakkan and the van, she is outraged. She runs into the house and sees that it has been stripped bare. She wants to call the police but Comfort tells her she has a job to do, and insists she gets on with it. When they arrive at Holby A&E, Nikki explains the situation to Anna. They toss a coin to see who gets to tell Roxy. Nikki wins, but is called to a shout, so it is left to Anna to find Roxy. When she hears the news, Roxy begs Anna not to cal the police or tell anyone, as no harm has been done because she doesn’t want everyone to know how stupid she’s been. Anna agrees on condition that she can be there to hear what Roxy has to say to Hakkan. They go into resusc, to find out that Hakkan has walked out. Anna starts laughing, saying that the morphine will wear off soon and he’ll be in agony.
Lara goes to treat the woman Duffy brought in. She is still in shock and doesn’t tell them her name, so Duffy has a look in her handbag and finds out she is called Melanie Collier. Examining her, they find cuts and bruises all over her body, as well as bite marks. It seems she has been raped. Lara is pushing Melanie to tell her what happened; Duffy tries to slow her down. As they are undressing her, Duffy spots that Melanie has a p.v. bleed, and Melanie tells them she’s pregnant. Duffy fetches the Doppler and finds the baby’s heartbeat, but Lara can’t assure her that the baby will be all right. Lara wants to call the police, but Melanie won’t give her permission. Lara contacts them to find Melanie’s next of kin, however, and also tells them that Melanie has been raped. When they arrive, they want to talk to Melanie about her rape, but Lara says she only called them in for ID, and Melanie has not consented to involve the police. They tell her that Melanie is the wife of their boss David Collier. When David arrives, Lara talks to him, telling him that they think Melanie has been raped. He wants to see her, but Lara says that might not be a good idea – a rape victim can feel ashamed and not want to see their partner. David is angry that she is calling her a rape victim. As he leaves the interview room, Sgt Mick Stewart comes up to him, saying it’s terrible to think Mel has been raped. David asks how he knew Melanie had been raped, and Mick says Lara told him. Later, David tells Lara she had no right to tell the police about Melanie’s rape – it’s a serious breach of confidentiality. Lara takes David to see Melanie. He asks her to leave them alone, but as Lara is leaving, Melanie doubles up in agony. Lara rushes her into resusc. As she is being treated, David, wanting to complain about Lara’s handling of the situation, insists on speaking to the consultant. Meanwhile in resusc, despite Lara’s best efforts, Melanie loses the baby. As she is leaving, Harry asks Lara for a word. He tells her David isn’t happy with her attitude. Lara replies that David isn’t helping his wife – he’s too busy feeling sorry for himself. She says he doesn’t want the police involved because his macho pride doesn’t want his colleagues to find out. He tells her she did well in resusc but should play it by the book from now on – she should hand Melanie over to obs and gynae, and lose the attitude.
Soon afterwards, Lara goes for her interview for the registrar’s post, only to find that Harry has taken Max’s place on the interview panel. He asks her if she thinks there are any conditions where it is acceptable to break patient confidentiality. Lara says there are situations where a doctor could inadvertently break patient confidentiality. Simon has his interview next, and is completely relaxed throughout, joking with the panel, though his jokes seem to fall flat.
After her interview, Lara goes to talk to David, and breaks the news. She also says that in her treatment of Melanie she has destroyed any forensic evidence. She apologises for her behaviour earlier. David asks if there will be scars from the bites. Lara asks how he knew Melanie was bitten. David says she told him, but Lara doesn’t think she did. She makes an excuse and leaves, then goes back to see Melanie, and asks if David did it. Melanie admits he did. She tells Melanie she has to go to the police, and offers to get her help. As she is getting worked up, Duffy comes in, and calls her away. Lara tells her Melanie was raped by her own husband. She says she’s calling women’s aid, but Duffy says she’s not allowed without consent. As they are arguing, they are interrupted by Harry, who demands to know what is going on. Duffy makes some excuse, and Harry tells Lara to take a break, as she seems worked up. Lara goes back to see Melanie, saying they’ll keep her in overnight, but David, who is with her, says he’s moving her to the Hadlington. Lara tries to object, but David insists. She asks Melanie if she wants to talk to her, alone, but Melanie asks her to leave it.
At the end of the shift, Harry tells everyone that as he’s been too busy today to get to know any of them, and is likely to be just as busy tomorrow, he’s booked a table at a local restaurant for anyone who wants to come along. Everyone heads off, but Lara doesn’t feel like going. She goes to her car and gets in, and as she is about to close the door, David Collier turns up. He tells her he’s prepared to overlook her breach of confidentiality. Lara says she knows what he did. He replies that she knows nothing, but he loves his wife. Lara says she saw what he can do to someone he loves. David tells her, ‘Don’t forget to belt up – I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.’ He walks away.

Episode first broadcast Saturday 8th June 2002

Additional Cast
Harry Harper          Simon MacCorkindale
David Collier          Dorian Healy
Melanie Collier          Lisa Palfrey
Hakkan Tahsin          Raza Jeffrey
James Meadle          Roger Brierley
Vicky          Fleur Bennett
Jean          Florence Sparham
WPC Newcombe          Ashley Miller
Sgt Mick Stewart          Darren Strange
Miss Carter          Shireen Shah
Jordan Harper          Frankie Carson