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Gentle Touch, The (1980-84)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

'Break-in', tx. 19/9/1980

DI Maggie Forbes is called to the offices of a prominent law firm to investigate a burglary. Their safe has been robbed, although only part of the money inside has been taken. There is no evidence of forced entry and no finger prints are found. After interviewing the main solicitor of the firm and his clerk, Jack Ledley, Forbes returns to the police station.

Forbes is visited by Nelly Madigan, an elderly Irish woman. She angrily complains about antiques dealer Phil Wogan, who paid her £10 for a piece he then sold for £500. Nelly says that she has already spoken to DI Croft, who told her that what happened wasn't actually illegal. Forbes has to agree with her colleague, but promises to try and help. Forbes talks to Croft, but he won't put any pressure on Wogan as he is one of his best informants. Forbes asks her friend DS Barratt to open up an old case and put renewed pressure on Wogan.

Forbes goes to hospital when she hears that her son, Steve, has hurt himself at school. In the waiting room she listens to a grief stricken woman whose daughter is dying of a brain tumour. An experimental operation might be possible but she doesn't have the necessary money. When the woman's husband arrives, Forbes recognises him as Ledley, the clerk from the law firm she is investigating.

Forbes runs in to Wogan at her local pub and asks him to make a deal with Nelly. When Forbes discovers that Ledley has obtained American Visas for his family, she confronts him with the evidence. Ledley breaks down and confesses, but his employer promises to stand by him in court. Forbes reports the outcome to her boss, who reprimands her when she bitterly remarks that the only tangible outcome from the investigation will be the death of Ledley's daughter. Nelly comes in to the station to thank Forbes, telling her that Wogan has given her an additional £400. Croft angrily protests at the way that Forbes had his informant harassed into giving Nelly more money. Forbes asks for his support as she is upset by the outcome of her case against Ledley. Croft tries to comfort her, but is called away on another case. At home, Forbes' son reassures her that once the news of Ledley's daughter emerges, money for the operation will soon come flooding in.