Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 May 2017
‘I’m not telling you a single thing, Mr. Fraser.’ Kevin Norton rocked back on his chair, balancing it on the back legs. His solicitor, a wiry, bespectacled, greying fellow grinned as he thought about the consequences of Norton losing his balance. Fraser caught the grin but misread it, believing it to be in relation to Norton’s comment. He quickly shoved the table towards the solicitor, catching him off guard. Surprised by the move, the solicitor threw out his left arm, and connected with Norton. Quick reactions from the larger man saw him unbalance for only a few seconds before he redistributed his weight, and successfully manoeuvred the chair back to the floor.
‘Fucking idiot,’ Norton snapped at his solicitor.
Fraser drummed his fingers on the table, more out of irritation than an attempt to get Norton’s attention.
‘What’s the matter, Mr. Fraser? Have I disappointed you because I’m not giving you any information to crack your case?’
‘Actually, Kevin, it’s Detective Chief Inspector Fraser, not mister.’
‘Oh well, I’m terribly sorry for my mistake, DCI Fraser.’ Norton’s sneer disgusted the DCI. ‘Doesn’t she speak?’ He pointed to DS Corbyn, who was busily taking notes in her police notebook.
‘If she does speak, Kevin, you know you’re in the shit. So, it’s best that she doesn’t say anything,’ Fraser replied.
‘I think you’ve got her on a short leash. Because we, she and I, have a history. Don’t we darling’?’ Norton slapped the table in front of Corbyn, hoping to scare her. She didn’t flinch.
‘Do you two play good cop, bad cop?’
Fraser did his best to look unimpressed by Norton’s stupid question. ‘Kevin, we just want information about Roy Mackey’s involvement in the deaths of Benjamin Rowe or Don Mackey, and Police Constable Dave Anderson. Whatever else you’ve done, we’re really not interested in.’
‘And what do I get in return for telling you about Mr. Mackey? I’ll tell you what I get. A death sentence. I get a death sentence.’
‘Are you suggesting that Roy Mackey would take a hit out on you, Kevin?’
‘Mr. Fraser – sorry, DCI Fraser, I’m not suggesting anything.’ Norton looked at his solicitor for guidance. ‘Crompton, what do I pay you for?’
The solicitor, Crompton, attempted to mumble a reply but Norton shut him up with a wave of his hand.
‘Okay, Kevin,’ Fraser spoke quietly to draw Norton in. ‘If you’re not going to help us out with regard to Roy Mackey, explain why you broke into DS Corbyn’s home two days ago.’
‘Don’t know what you’re talking about, DCI Fraser. I don’t know where DS Corbyn lives, so how could I break into her house?’
‘Well, a few points that contradict your denial, Kevin. We’ve got a witness who can identify you as the one who broke into DS Corbyn’s home, we’ve got security camera footage showing you at her home, and we’ve got your fingerprints on the front door, kitchen bench, and in her bedroom. How are you planning on refuting that?’
Corbyn smirked. She knew what Fraser was up to. They had no evidence at all that it was Norton who ransacked her home. Of course, Norton didn’t know that. She’d seen Fraser successfully pull off this ruse a few times over the years. More often than not, however, it failed to have the desired impact. She considered how it might work with Norton.
‘Again, DCI Fraser, I don’t know what you’re talking about.’
Fraser noted the sweat beginning to speckle on Norton’s forehead.
‘Caught you in a lie, haven’t I, Kevin?’
‘No. No. I wasn’t anywhere near DS Corbyn’s house two days ago.’
‘Interesting,’ Fraser pondered. ‘Interesting that you didn’t ask where DS Corbyn lives, Kevin.’
‘Don’t need to know because wherever it is, I wasn’t there.’
Fraser burst into laughter. ‘Your logic is flawed, Kevin.’
Norton leaned in close to Crompton, the pair whispering strategy for a minute or two.
‘Fine. I’ll tell you what I know about Roy Mackey, but I want something out of it. If Mackey finds out that I’ve spoken to you, regardless of if I’ve said anything about him or not. You have to make this worth my while.’
‘I don’t make deals with criminals, Kevin,’ Fraser snapped.
‘Then you get nothing out of me.’ Norton stood, and dragged Crompton up by the arm. ‘Let’s go, Crompton.’
Corbyn slapped Fraser on the arm. ‘Do something, Jack.’
Fraser sat silently. He wasn’t going to give in to Norton’s demands for a deal. Corbyn had to act if they were going to get the information they needed.
‘What do you want, Norton?’ Corbyn asked.
Norton stopped short of the door, and pushed Crompton out of the way.
‘DS Corbyn. Well that is a surprise.’ Norton returned to his seat at the table.
‘Get on with it, Norton. Your time for a deal is running out,’ she said.
‘I want to speak, with you, alone. I’ll tell you everything I know about Mackey. But only you. He can naff off into another room. Or watch through that mirror.’ He threw out his right arm to point at the two-way mirror behind the detectives.
‘That’s all you want?’ Corbyn asked.
Fraser stood up, walked to the door, and pulled it open. He gestured for the uniform officer outside to step into the room.
‘DS Corbyn, outside please,’ he ordered his partner. She closed her notebook, poked it into her jacket pocket, and followed Fraser outside. He shut the door and took five steps down the hall. Corbyn followed.
‘You’re not doing it. I don’t care what you say. I don’t care what you think we can get out of him. You are not, categorically not going to sit alone in a room with the scum who beat the living shit out of you.’
‘Are you done?’ she asked.
Fraser nodded. ‘Yep.’ He figured he’d made his point strong enough to warrant a single word reply.
‘We need as much information on Roy Mackey as we can get. Here, in our interview room, we’ve got an inside man who can tell us everything, everything we need to know. If we let this opportunity pass us by, we don’t deserve to be coppers. We’re condoning what Mackey does. We’re condoning the deaths of his nephew, and of Dave Anderson. Let me do this, Jack. He’s in a police station. What’s he gonna do?’
‘A bloody lot if he gets his way.’
* * * * *
Norton smiled. It’d been easier to play Fraser than he’d anticipated. He’d got exactly what he wanted. He and Corbyn alone in a room.
‘Tell me about Mackey’s involvement in the death of his nephew, Don. Or Benjamin Rowe.’
‘Benjamin Rowe? Is that the name witness protection gave him?’
‘Yes. Is it relevant?’
‘No, just curious.’ Norton paused then cleared his throat. ‘Roy Mackey knew his nephew was going to roll over on him well before the trial. There’d been whisperings that Roy’d put a hit out on Don, but it was just rumblings. There was no real – evidence, I guess you’d say – that Roy’d done anything like that. Then, this PC Dave – that’s what Roy called him – PC Dave turned up at Roy’s office. Roy took him in, they were in his office for twenty or so minutes, and then your copper mate rushed out of Mackey’s office white as a sheet. Like he’d seen a ghost or something. Mackey later tells me he’s given PC Dave an ultimatum. Pay his gambling debt, in full, or do a job for him and kill Benjamin Rowe. That’s what you want, isn’t it?’
Corbyn nodded. ‘It’s a start, Kevin.’
‘There’s something else, DS Corbyn.’ Norton leaned across the table towards Corbyn and waited. Curiosity got the better of her, and she leaned in towards him. She didn’t see it coming. Didn’t see him ball up his fist and thrust it straight towards her face. Didn’t see him leap over the table. Didn’t see him unleash the rage he’d bottled up since she’d got him sent to prison.
It took Fraser, Crompton, and five uniforms several seconds to get into the interview room. In that time, Norton had once again, beaten Ali Corbyn within an inch of her life. It took three attempts at tasering Norton to bring him to ground, all the while Corbyn was bleeding out on the interview room floor.
. . . To be continued . . .