On the first day, the prosecution witnesses were Roy Cropper, Leanne Tilsley and Steve McDonald. He asked Roy the location of the café in relation to Tina’s flat and elicited the fact that on the night of her death he saw Peter going into the flat at 8.30pm for half an hour. He got Roy to answer that Peter was distressed going in and even more agitated coming out.
He got a reluctant Leanne to describe Peter’s alcoholism and adultery when she was married to him and, although he didn't argue that Peter hadn't been violent towards her, he did get her to tell the court that Peter had once attacked Nick Tilsley. He talked over her when she tried to tell the reason why and instead wanted to know what his weapon of choice had been on that occasion. With great reluctance, Leanne answered truthfully that it was with a metal bar -the same method that had been used to kill Tina.
Steve was suffering from undeclared depression at the trial and reacted badly to his questions. He described Peter as one of his best friends and admitted that he wasn’t happy when he heard about his affair. Under questioning, he unhappily admitted that his advice to Peter had been to "shut Tina up".
The witnesses on the second day were Mary Taylor and Carla Barlow. Mary said that Peter was agitated and abrupt on the night of the murder and claimed he’d been scratched by a cat to explain the marks on his face before he scurried into the ginnel. The barrister chose not to call Norris Cole as his evidence duplicated that of Mary, infuriating the little man was he waited in the witness room.
Carla said that when Peter returned to the Rovers he was edgy and nervous and announced his affair just after she had announced her pregnancy to everyone in the pub. She damned Peter in the jury's eyes when she said that the affair had started on the night of their wedding with a kiss, though not sex. After Tina had seen the couple announcing their baby, she had made all kinds of threats and then attacked him for breaking his promise to run away with her.
On the third day, he cross-examined Peter who told him that he wasn't proud of his actions in having an affair. He got a reluctant admission from him that the tickets he had bought to Portsmouth were for him and Tina and that he was just buying time before he dumped her for Carla. In his defence, Peter admitted that he was weak and said that he enjoyed having two attractive women in his thrall but he did himself no favours when he said that the strain was killing him and he’d been “trying to get Tina out of my life for months”.
He further got Peter to admit that on the night of the murder he was backed into a corner and that Tina was threatening his future life with Carla and their unborn child. He put it to Peter that he had told Carla about the affair as a smokescreen to cover his guilt. This caused Peter to lose his composure and yell out in court that he had been at breaking point on the night in question.
The barrister summed up to the jury by saying that as a former bookmaker Peter had "weighed up the odds and spread his bets". He kept up the analogy by saying he was on a losing streak when he had acted as he had and told them that nothing they had heard contradicted the fact that a manipulative serial seducer like Peter could not be trusted.
Peter was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of fifteen years but just a few weeks later Rob Donovan was unmasked as the real murderer and Peter was released.
List of appearancesEdit