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   Inside Out - West Midlands: Monday February 27, 2006

Hilda Murrell murder mystery

Hilda Murrell
Hilda Murrell - her case sparked a major investigation

The discovery of the body of Hilda Murrell in a copse in Shropshire in 1984 sparked a police investigation that would last for more than two decades.

Officers were mystified why anyone would want to attack and abduct a 78-year-old rose grower and peace activist – and leave her to freeze to death in a field.

But in 2005, after 21 years of mystery and speculation, a man was finally charged, convicted, and jailed for life, largely on the basis of DNA evidence.

However, some are still far from convinced that labourer Andrew George killed Hilda when a burglary at her home went drastically wrong.

Those doubters include her nephew Rob Green, who believes George, who lived in Meadow Farm Drive, Shrewsbury, when he was charged, was not acting alone – and may even be innocent of her murder.

As George launches an appeal against his conviction, Inside Out travels to New Zealand to find out more from Rob, a former senior intelligence officer in the Royal Navy.

Reporter Giles Latcham also meets others who believe George, who was 16 at the time of the murder, was not solely responsible for Hilda’s death.

And he visits the scene of the crime with the pathologist who examined the pensioner’s frozen body 22 years ago and who remains adamant police have got the right man.

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Farming fight back

Fordhall Farm
The countryside - tough work and investment required

Fordhall Farm, in the depths of rural Shropshire, is in crisis.

Once one of the driving forces behind organic farming in Britain, it has fallen into a state of disrepair and its owners now want to sell it off.

But brother and sister Ben and Charlotte Hollins are determined to save the farm, which has been worked by their family since the 18th Century.

The pair, who now run the farm following the death of their father Arthur, have to raise £800,000 if they are to prevent the land from falling into someone else’s hands.

Presenter Ashley Blake spends two days with the Hollinses to find out how they are attempting to raise the cash that will save their home and livelihood.

And while he is there, he learns that Ben and Charlotte are also working hard to improve the farm’s fortunes by resurrecting the organic farming techniques pioneered by their father.

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Life on the list

Mark Allen and respiratory aid
Coping with health issues and hospitalisation

For 30 years, Mark Allen was able to live a fairly normal life – despite having the genetic disease cystic fibrosis.

But during a round-the-world trip, Mark contracted a rare form of pneumonia, and the cystic fibrosis, which affects the lungs and other organs, became critical.

He was treated in hospital in South Korea for six weeks and was eventually flown home, where he was put on the waiting list for a double lung transplant.

Inside Out joins 32-year-old Mark after he has been on the waiting list for 12 months.

We visit him at home in Staffordshire as he copes with the impact of his debilitating illness, and on visits to hospital for treatment for the life-threatening condition.

During our time with Mark, he talks frankly about life, death, and the prospect of an operation which could dramatically help him regain his independence

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