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Within These Walls: A Sentence of Death (ITV 30 Oct 1976, with Daphne Heard)



Within These Walls

In A Sentence of Death elderly Romany gypsy Ralda Loveridge, is in Stone Park on remand having been accused of contempt of court after insulting the judge who was hearing her case. She finds being locked up extremely difficult. Nothing seems to please her either but Helen Forrester decides to make an exception and allow her to work in the garden. She deliberately tries to poison herself though, by eating laurel leaves, to get into the hospital wing.

Liz Clarke goes to see Ralda’s grandson who tells her that Ralda has the opportunity to move her people into a properly sanctioned council site but she is adamant she won’t give in.

Interesting that although she is a somewhat grumpy old lady everybody genuinely seems to like her and is sympathetic to her plight. Eventually she is released but dies soon after, according to romany law the camp has to move on after a death. Liz Clarke is convinced that Ralda, who had a heart condition, allowed herself to die so that the camp could move and she wouldn’t have to go back on her word.

There is a nice melancholic version of the theme tune that plays out over the end credits as scenes of the interior of Ralda’s caravan are seen.

UK / ITV – London Weekend Television / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Saturday 30 October 1976

Writer: Peter Wildeblood / Production Design: Rodney Cammish / Director: Bryan Izzard

Series: Within These Walls Season 4 Episode 9

Katharine Blake as Helen Forrester
Mona Bruce as Mrs Armitage
Denys Hawthorne as Dr Mayes
Beth Harris as Miss Clarke
Elaine Wells as Officer Spencer
Daphne Heard as Ralda Loveridge
Jamila Massey as Farida
Mary Kenton as Nina Richardson
Maureen Sweeney as Tessa Brady
Alison Groves as Officer Poole
Mary Duddy as Bridie Logan
Sally Watkins as Jill
Elspeth Macnaughton as Sister
James Cormack as Malcolm Spencer
Nick Brimble as Gordon Loveridge
Geoffrey Chater as Lionel Holt



and this just in