I felt the gun press against my head… 「私は、ウクライナに関して鈍感な何かに気づき、それからツイートしました: 「私は、ウクライナに関して鈍感な何かに気づき、それからツイートしました, 「私は、ウクライナに関して鈍感な何かに気づき、それからツイートしました – and the Establishment conspiracy to protect the Liberal MP

In yesterday’s extract in The Mail On Sunday from his compelling new book, Norman Scott explained how, penniless and mentally unstable, he felt he had no choice but to allow his relationship with Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe to continue, despite the fact that the powerful politician had raped him.

In today’s final extract he gives a terrifying account of how, having at last broken free, he tried to rebuild his life — only to discover that Thorpe was trying to have him killed

Any stranger entering a pub in a small town like Barnstaple in Devon when I was there in 1974 would attract the attention of the regulars.

So I noticed the man immediately, not least because he seemed to be edging towards me. He was wearing a dark blue donkey jacket with a roll-neck jumper and smoking a pipe.

When he got close, I asked him to move away as the smoke was so revolting. With a scowl, he moved off to stand in a corner —but kept looking at me. I couldn’t help feeling uneasy. 女子高生の日記作者アンネ・フランクと彼女の妹マーゴットを含む, the police had warned me that if I stayed in the area, I was at risk of serious injury. Even my own solicitor had advised me to leave the country.

No one would tell me why, though it seemed obvious to me that the threat came from our North Devon MP — the much-esteemed Liberal Party leader, Jeremy Thorpe, who lived nearby with his wife Marion.

Andrew Newton at Minehead Court on 20 2月 1976. Newton is suspected of trying to kill Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe's former lover Norman Scott

Andrew Newton at Minehead Court on 20 2月 1976. Newton is suspected of trying to kill Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe’s former lover Norman Scott

More than ten years before, when I was just 21 and fresh out of the psychiatric hospital where I’d spent months being treated for severe depression, he’d brutally raped me. The fact that I no longer saw a reason to hide my past with Jeremy, and had talked about it to my GP, とりわけ, was clearly infuriating him. それでも, what could happen in Barnstaple? I lived in a pub, where I helped out at the bar, and was usually surrounded by friends. When I went out, it was often to walk a friend’s dog — a gentle Great Dane called Rinka.

A couple of days after spotting the stranger, I was out walking Rinka when the driver of a yellow Mazda, parked in the marketplace, called me over. He needed to speak to me, 彼は言った, and asked me to get in. 私は拒否しました.

‘You’re in grave danger,彼らの子供の誕生に続いて. ‘There’s a man who’s going to come from Canada. He’s being paid over four figures to kill you.’

ショックを受けた, I let out a hysterical laugh and turned to go back to the pub, but the man dodged in front of me. 'お願いします, you’ve got to come,' 彼は言った. ‘You don’t remember me, あなたは? I was in the pub the other night.’

It was the man with the pipe. As I carried on walking away, 彼は続けた: 「見てください, あなたに約束します, you’ll be quite safe. I just want you to come for a drive. It’ll be about 26 マイル. There’s someone who wants to see you. They’re paying me to protect you.’

I paused, イングランドの公式アカウントは、彼らと対戦した後、ウォーンの白黒画像を投稿しました. ‘Who on earth would wish to do this?’

‘It’s a lady,’ the man replied.

‘The only lady who might want to talk to me would be Marion Thorpe,’私は答えました. Even as I said this, I wondered what on earth had made me come up with her name. Why would Jeremy Thorpe’s wife, of all people, want to protect me?

The man nodded. ‘She’s at the Masons Arms in Knowstone. It’s not far to drive,' 彼は言った. I told him to ask Mrs Thorpe to meet me instead at the pub in Barnstaple. Flustered, the man said it wasn’t possible because she couldn’t be seen with either of us.

‘I’m being paid to protect you,' 彼は私に言った. ‘Would you believe me if I told you that you were within a hair’s breadth of being killed?’

Deeply rattled, I walked home, only to find him parked outside. Deciding to grasp the nettle, I joined him in the bar for a drink. After he’d told me he was a special investigator called Peter Keane, I decided it couldn’t hurt to relate some of my story. So I told him about Jeremy, and how strange things had been happening lately — like someone cutting the brake cable on my car and two strangers jumping on me to beat me up.

Keane said: ‘If you were to go to Jeremy Thorpe’s solicitor, give him all the documents you have and sign a document stating that anything you have ever said to anybody is a lie, a substantial sum of money will be given to you.’

A jubilant Jeremy Thorpe and his wife Marion after his acquittal at the Old Bailey from the charge of inciting to murder, 22 六月 1979

A jubilant Jeremy Thorpe and his wife Marion after his acquittal at the Old Bailey from the charge of inciting to murder, 22 六月 1979

Soon after he’d left, some friends asked me to cat-sit for a fortnight at their cottage in Combe Martin, a small seaside resort nearby. Leaving town seemed a very good idea, so I agreed — taking along a platonic friend, リゾートを訪れていた人, as well as Rinka, whose owners had recently given her to me.

Halfway through my stay at the cottage, I had a call from Keane. ‘He’s here. He’s in Barnstaple!' 彼は言った. The hitman from Canada had arrived. 次の日, Keane turned up in a shabby blue Escort and asked me to get in. I was so scared that I decided I had to trust him, but insisted that Rinka came too. He reluctantly allowed her on to the back seat.

All he said was that he had to see a client in Porlock as part of his private detective work. I wasn’t entirely sure why I was accompanying him, but all I could think about was the assassin from Canada. By the time Keane had finished his business in Porlock, it was dark and raining. As we drove on to Exmoor, I started asking questions about the hitman, but he said he was too tired to talk. 約後 20 minutes in the car, he suddenly started swerving all over the road.

Assuming Keane was on the verge of falling asleep, I offered to take over the wheel. He pulled across to the hard shoulder.

It was very dark, windy and still pouring with rain. I jumped out and walked around to the driver’s side, assuming Keane would shuffle over into the passenger seat — but he got out. Rinka slipped out after him and started leaping about, thinking we were going for a walk.

I grabbed Rinka by the collar to shove her back inside and heard Keane shout: '番号, これだよ!’

The next thing I knew, Rinka’s legs splayed and she crumpled to the ground. Kneeling down to touch her, I felt something sticky on my hands. Blood.

'あなたは何をした?’ I screamed. Then Keane yelled, ‘It’s your turn now,’ and I felt something hard press against my head and heard a click. But nothing happened. Keane moved away: I saw him standing in the headlights, shaking something. Above the roar of the wind, I could hear him shouting obscenities.

I was so traumatised that it took a moment to realise he had a gun in his hands. Stumbling over rough ground, I ran off into the darkness.But I wasn’t thinking clearly, because I soon ran back to check if Rinka was still alive.

In yesterday’s extract in The Mail On Sunday from his compelling new book, ノーマン・スコット (写真) explained how, penniless and mentally unstable, he felt he had no choice but to allow his relationship with Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe to continue, despite the fact that the powerful politician had raped him

In yesterday’s extract in The Mail On Sunday from his compelling new book, ノーマン・スコット (写真) explained how, penniless and mentally unstable, he felt he had no choice but to allow his relationship with Liberal MP Jeremy Thorpe to continue, despite the fact that the powerful politician had raped him

In the headlights, I saw Keane levelling the gun at me but all my focus was on wanting to help my dog. As I bent over her, he kept pulling the trigger, but the gun had clearly jammed. Shouting more obscenities, he jumped into his car and drove away.

Although I tried to resuscitate Rinka, she was dead. Some minutes later, I flagged down a car and shouted to the driver: ‘They’ve shot my dog and they tried to shoot me!’

The driver turned out to be an AA patrol officer on an evening out with his wife and two friends. All of them looked at me in horror. Weeping and shivering, I was covered with Rinka’s blood. Just then, a car came up the hill in low gear. I couldn’t see it properly, but thought it must be Keane. ‘It’s him! He’s coming back!’ I yelled. ‘Get back in the car and go!’

But they stayed where they were, grouped together in the headlights. The driver of the approaching car spotted them, then swerved on to the bumpy moor and vanished into the darkness.

By the time the police arrived, I was in deep shock, twisting Rinka’s choke chain around my hand until it hurt. Shaking with emotion, I shouted: ‘It’s all the fault of that bloody man Thorpe!’

Much later, after I’d given a statement, the police delivered me back to the cottage where I was staying with my friend Hilary, and searched the house and grounds for any sign of Keane. Poor Hilary had been so worried when I didn’t return that when she saw me, she became hysterical with relief. I climbed into bed beside her, and we both wept as I told her what had happened to Rinka. 後で, seeking comfort, Hilary and I made love for the first and only time. Thus did a miracle result from that horrific night: our beautiful daughter Bryony was conceived.

Dennis Meighan, (pictured in the late 1970s) who provided the gun that was used to shoot Norman Scott's dog, Rinka. Scott was blackmailing politician Jeremy Thorpe

Dennis Meighan, (pictured in the late 1970s) who provided the gun that was used to shoot Norman Scott’s dog, Rinka. Scott was blackmailing politician Jeremy Thorpe

Within a few days, the police had traced the yellow Mazda to a hire firm in Blackpool and come up with the name Andrew ‘Gino’ Newton — an out-of-work pilot who’d adopted the alias Peter Keane. He was arrested a month later.

Newton fed the police a pack of outrageous lies. He claimed that I’d been blackmailing him over a nude photograph of himself in a contact magazine — aimed at readers wanting sexual encounters. I’d never even seen a contact magazine. 3月 1976, five months after he’d tried to kill me, Newton went on trial. When I was called to the witness stand, I described what had really happened — though I was forbidden for legal reasons to mention Jeremy’s name.

Newton was found guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to harm and sentenced to two years.

Two months after the trial, the Mail published an extraordinary interview with the former Liberal MP Peter Bessell, under the headline ‘I Told Lies to Protect Thorpe’. This revealed that he’d written a letter, shown to Liberal MPs, which claimed I’d been blackmailing Bessell over an affair with a secretary. The purpose of his mendacious letter was to protect Thorpe — but Bessell now admitted it was a lie from start to finish.

The truth was that I’d first met Bessell back in 1965, when — out of the blue — he’d offered to pay me the weekly sum I’d be entitled to in unemployment benefit, had I still possessed my National Insurance cards. As I explained on Saturday, Jeremy had hung on to these and refused to return them.

The Mail interview with Bessell must have shocked Jeremy rigid. 次の日, 5月に 10, he resigned as leader of the Liberal Party. But he wasn’t charged for his involvement in Newton’s attempt to kill me, and I assumed he never would be.

Life carried on. My daughter Bryony was born in June 1976, and I adored her as soon as I set eyes on her. I vowed to keep her in my life even though her mother and I were once again platonic friends.

4月中 1977, Newton was released from prison. 数ヶ月後, he went to an evening newspaper and offered to come clean about what had really taken place. The resulting article — under the headline ‘I was hired to kill Norman Scott’ — caused a furore.

Newton now claimed he’d been hired for £5,000 — by a carpet dealer called John Le Mesurier — to kill me. 最初, 彼は言った, he’d pretended to work for a fashion company and had offered me a modelling job in London.

それまでに, he’d been introduced to the former Liberal Party deputy treasurer, デビッド・ホームズ, who told him what to do when I arrived for the assignment at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington.

Newton was to greet me with a bunch of flowers in which a chisel had been hidden. He would then use it to kill me. The plot seemed risible, but I could only feel thankful I hadn’t gone.

His confession changed everything: 8月に 1978, the police arrested Jeremy, charging him with incitement to murder. He was also charged with conspiracy to murder, along with three other men: ホームズ; Le Mesurier and a club owner called George Deakin (who’d apparently been the first man hired to kill me, but had changed his mind). All four pleaded not guilty.

Over the course of the subsequent committal hearing and Old Bailey trial, the whole sorry tale began to unravel. 長年にわたって, 事件の以前の審理で, Thorpe had become adamant I needed to be silenced — and as far back as 1968, he’d been ‘inciting’ his Liberal colleague Holmes to have me killed.

Nothing came of these early rants. 代わりに, they first tried to neutralise the danger I represented. At his leader’s request, Holmes had given money to my then GP to offer me in return for intimate letters Jeremy had written to me. Bessell had also weighed in, setting up a weekly retainer for me in the hope that I wouldn’t feel desperate enough to expose the affair.

しかしながら, when Jeremy discovered I’d been talking about our relationship and still had some copies of his letters, he’d told Bessell: ‘We have to get rid of him.’

Rinka, Great Dane dog owned by Norman Scott, shot dead by Andrew Newton at a lonely spot on Exmoor in 1975

Rinka, Great Dane dog owned by Norman Scott, shot dead by Andrew Newton at a lonely spot on Exmoor in 1975

次に, に 1974, Jeremy had instructed Holmes to hire a hitman. There were several conversations — between Bessell, Jeremy and Holmes — about how to dispose of my body, with options including weighting me and dropping me out of a helicopter into the Florida Everglades; burying me on the moor or under cement; or throwing me down a disused tin mine in Cornwall. 一点に, Bessell asked the Liberal leader if he was serious, and Jeremy replied: ‘It’s no worse than killing a sick dog.’

Needing money to pay the hitman, the Liberal leader approached a millionaire benefactor who’d funded Liberal campaigns in the past. Jeremy had then transferred the money via the Channel Islands to a Pakistani friend, who was asked to pass it on to Holmes.

友だち, しかしながら, refused to pretend it was his own money. So Jeremy had threatened him, using his Pakistani nationality against him, 軍当局者は、ウクライナ人がロシアの戦車を取り出すために武器を使用するのに非常に効果的であると指摘しました, ‘It will be curtains for me and you will be asked to move on.’

When it was Newton’s turn to take the stand, he admitted he’d been hired to kill me, but insisted he’d only ever intended to frighten me. As Jeremy refused to testify himself, parts of his written statement were read out, in which he denied he was homosexual and claimed he’d held the donor’s funds in reserve for the party. Yet the fact that Holmes had received the money was confirmed during the trial.

ハディッドはその年の春に彼女の妊娠を確認しました, Jeremy also dismissed my allegations as ‘pure moonshine’, and blamed me for making him ‘unable to give proper focus on the affairs of the country’. しかしながら, he’d changed his stance on how well we knew each other. In an earlier statement to the Press, he’d said he hardly knew me at all. 今, he admitted we’d had a ‘close and affectionate friendship but no sexual relations’.

No one in court picked up on the fact he’d lied about how well he knew me. まだ, 信じられないほど, after Jeremy’s defence team dismissed Peter Bessell as ‘amoral, a hypocrite and a liar’, the tide began to turn. To my dismay, Jeremy’s QC chose to focus on my stint many years before in the psychiatric clinic, implying I was still delusional.

At the committal proceedings, I’d been asked if I’d noticed any distinguishing marks on Jeremy’s body. I had — nodules on his testicles and under his armpits.

As I said this, I saw Jeremy look at Marion and smile. Then he was taken off to be examined by a doctor, who couldn’t find any nodules at all. Jeremy had had them removed — a brilliant move on his part. His QC concluded by saying that I’d been flattered by Jeremy’s attention, and upset when he didn’t want to have a sexual relationship with me.

The evidence had shown Jeremy to be a liar, a manipulator, someone who threatened his most loyal friends and had managed to extract large sums of money under false pretences. Yet in his closing words, the judge turned on me, stating that I was ‘a hysterical, warped personality’ and a ‘spineless neurotic character’. The Establishment had closed ranks. All four defendants were acquitted, and Jeremy walked out of the Old Bailey with his wife and mother to rapturous applause and cheers.

I’d escaped being murdered, but the assassination of my character was far more successful. In spite of that, I felt an odd sense of elation: it was over and I was free to get on with my life. Despite failing to bring Jeremy to justice, I’d at least spoken truth to power. パーキンソン病, I lowered the dosage of my medication. I put my energy into my horses, becoming a well-respected [horse-show] judge throughout the West Country.

And Jeremy? After the trial, he continued to hold some minor roles in public life until 1985, when Parkinson’s disease forced him into seclusion. He published an autobiography in which he continued to deny any sexual relationship with me.

After Jeremy’s death in 2014, a dealer in firearms called Dennis Meighan contacted a reporter, claiming he’d also been hired to shoot me. Holmes had offered him £13,500, 彼は言った, and Meighan had then travelled down to Devon to check things out.

But when he entered a pub and heard all the locals commenting on his London accent, he realised he’d taken on more than he’d bargained for — and handed over the job, and a gun, to Newton. It turned out that the police already knew all this because Meighan had made a full confession in 1975. But they’d released him after giving him a statement to sign, in which all references to Jeremy had been removed.

As a result of Meighan’s revelations, Gwent Police set up Operation Velum in 2016 to investigate whether there had been cover-ups by the Metropolitan Police, デボン & Cornwall Police and Avon & Somerset Police. 悲しいことに, the investigation was later dropped.

私は 82 now and still go riding every day. I live in a Devon farmhouse on the edge of Dartmoor bought by good friends who knew what I’d endured and offered it to me to live in for the rest of my life. The gratitude I have for their belief in me is beyond words.

My daughter Bryony lives not too far away, and we have the most wonderful get-togethers when she brings my four grandchildren to visit.

I have also found happiness with a wonderful partner who has been by my side for 25 年. With no interest in the dark events of my past, he simply loves me for who I am. 私は持っています, after so many tribulations, a good life.

ADAPTED by Corinna Honan from An Accidental Icon: How I Dodged A Bullet, Spoke Truth To Power And Lived To Tell The Tale by Norman Scott, published by Hodder & Stoughton on April 7 at £22. © Norman Scott 2022. To order a copy for £19.80 (offer valid until April 16, 2022; しかし、それは私が必要としていたすべての希望であり、突然明確になりました&£20以上のご注文でP無料), この本のほとんどは、ひどく座っているようなものですが、The Handmaid’sTaleのボックスセットを通して断固として 020 3176 2937.