Line of Duty episode five questions – answered

Is there enough evidence to convict Nick Huntley? Who were Jackie Laverty and Matthew Cottan? What is a Regulation 15?

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Phewph. What an episode of Line of Duty. There were shocks, twists, frozen bodies, arrests and amputations. Yes, amputations. Did anyone else feel a bit sick at the sight of Roz Huntley’s festering arm?

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As we inch towards the Line of Duty finale, there are plenty of twists and turns to get our heads around. So here are a few of the questions we had at the end of the episode – and (hopefully) some answers… 

1. Is there enough evidence to convict Nick Huntley?

In a word: yes. Roz’s less guilty half has wound up looking rather, well, guilty. 

First off, he was near Tim Ifield’s flat on the night of his murder. He told the police he was out meeting a friend when, in fact, he was tracking Roz after suspecting her of having an affair. What she was doing was much, much worse (RIP Tim) but the cops don’t know that – what they do have is CCTV footage of Nick’s car driving to and from Tim’s flat and a description from Tim’s neighbour that matches Nick’s appearance.

And that’s not all. Nick was the only one in his office block aware that Steve Arnott was in the building right before balaclava man’s attack. Suspicious indeed. AND he lied to police about his whereabouts on the night of Hannah Reznikova’s abduction – he said he was at a law function all evening when in fact his car was spotted returning in good time for him to be able to commit the kidnap and attempted murder.

Is he guilty? Well, we know he didn’t kill Tim and it seems pretty unlikely he’s behind the other murders and abductions. But Roz has done a very good job of framing him…

2. What was Roz doing with that hairbrush?

Straight after Nick’s arrest, Roz was seen pulling a rubber glove onto her remaining hand and taking one of her husband’s jumpers from a drawer. She then removed a hairbrush from an evidence bag and started rubbing it all over the item of clothing. Whose brush was it? Our best guess is it belonged to one of the two girls dismembered by balaclava man. With Michael Farmer as good as proven innocent, Roz is clearly trying yet again to plant evidence and frame someone else for the killings. And with the DCI aware (thanks to Jodie) that her husband was preparing to testify against her in relation to Tim’s murder, he was the obvious person to set up.

3. Why does it matter that Jimmy Lakewell once represented Michael Farmer?

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For months AC-12 have been trying to work out why Roz is trying to pin Operation Trapdoor on Michael Farmer. Episode five finally provided us with some answers thanks to Michael himself who asked Steve if he could have the lawyer who represented him for his rape conviction in 2009. That lawyer? Jimmy Lakewell – an old friend of Nick and Roz’s. He’s now representing Nick but knows Roz well enough to tip her off that AC-12 were investigating her husband. He would have been well versed in Michael’s past offences – could he have been the one to alert her to this convenient ‘suspect’ who a jury might believe had committed the killings?

4. Do Leonie’s frozen body parts prove that neither Tim nor Michael killed her?

Yes. According to Rupel, the latest section of Leonie’s remains had been frozen and wrapped in newspaper featuring articles that date back to the end of March. By that point, Tim was dead and Michael was in custody so neither of them could have deposited them – a development that should have proven their innocence. But Roz pressed on with her two top suspects, choosing not to pass any of Rupel’s crucial evidence onto her team.

5. Was Tim’s DNA planted on Leonie’s remains?

We basically knew Roz was responsible for the connection between Tim and Leonie but now we have proof. AC-12 finally got their hands on the forensics that Roz was using to pin Leonie’s murder on Tim and – surprise, surprise – the deposit of his blood found on her body contained polythene fibres. The very same polythene fibres that were found in the KRG-13 blood specimen taken from Tim Ifield’s flat (the one Roz planted) – even though the two samples were collected months apart. Conclusion: both pieces of evidence had been tampered with.

6. What did Neil tell Kate?

Once he realised the degree to which his boss, Roz, was holding back evidence, Neil paid a visit to Kate Fleming at AC-12. We never actually saw what he told her but, according to her report to Hastings, he passed on the fact that Leonie’s remains had been buried after Michael Farmer was arrested (see above). According to Kate, they had probably been held in cold storage – a deep freeze – for some time before being disposed of. Which reminded Steve of an old, unsolved case…

7. Who was Jackie Laverty?

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Cast your mind back to series one and you might recall Gina McKey’s property developer Jackie who was conducting an affair with copper Tony Gates (Lennie James). She was brutally and graphically murdered by men in balaclavas with baseball bats and Tony was framed. Sound familiar? (If not you can read our handy reminder here.)

The mention of Leonie’s frozen body triggered a memory for Steve – the very same thugs who killed Jackie also took out Tony with bats, much like the attack on poor Steve outside the lift at the end of episode four. Tony once described to Steve how he’d been shown Jackie’s dead body, frozen in cold storage, much like Leonie’s might have been.

Jackie’s real killers were never caught so the case remains unsolved. Assistant Chief Constable Hilton may have shut down AC-12’s investigation into Roz but Jackie’s murder offered them an olive branch – reopening it would give them cause to inspect Leonie’s remains thanks to the strong links between the two killings. 

8. Did Jamie really leak information on AC-12?

No. We saw last week that it was Maneet who was passing over details of her unit to Hilton. In episode five she proved just why she was once AC-12’s greatest asset, sneakily convincing Jamie to hand over his details so IT could ‘reset usernames and passwords’. Nice-but-dim Jamie fell for the act and dutifully handed over the login which Maneet used to download Matthew Cottan’s dying declaration and hand over to Hilton. Hastings soon caught wind of the leak thanks to Kate’s sleuthing but never in his wildest dreams did he imagine Maneet was responsible, instead reprimanding Jamie who stormed out of the office.

Maneet, meanwhile, requested early maternity leave and informed Hilton she was done with playing double agent. Her tears as she exited the building at least showed she still had a conscience. 

9. Who is Matthew Cottan and what is he referring to in his dying declaration?

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If you didn’t watch the last series of Line of Duty, you’re probably a bit confused. (Read this – it’ll bring you up to speed.)

Matthew “Dot” Cottan (Craig Parkinson), the infamous ‘Caddy’, was finally discovered by AC-12 and killed off last year, but not before Kate – who he died protecting – had recorded his dying declaration. Until now, all we’ve known is that it implicated paedophile and former police officer Patrick Fairbank who was jailed for ten years for his crimes. But only part of Dot’s testimony was disclosed. The remainder had sat with AC-12 until Hilton got his hands on it.

What did it reveal? The footage played by Hilton to Hastings showed Kate’s attempts to get the name of the most senior police officer aiding and abetting Dot and his criminal network. All she managed to secure was the first letter of their name – H – but AC-12 have been unable to get any further in pinning down the copper in question in the year since Dot’s death. And it’s not lost on Hilton that Hastings – the officer who recruited Dot to AC-12 – has a name that begins with an H.

10. What is a Regulation 15 and what will it mean for Hastings?

A Regulation 15 notice informs a police officer that a complaint has been made or a conduct matter has come to light that warrants an investigation. The notice informs the officer they have 10 working days to gather together any evidence and submit a formal response.

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For Ted Hastings it could mean a disciplinary hearing. Is the future of AC-12’s leader in jeopardy? The police force would be a more dangerous place without Hastings on the hunt for corrupt officers…