Shocked by the outcome of C4’s insightful docu-drama-reality series The Trial: A Murder in the Family? Well don’t worry if you’re part of the 70% of viewers who didn’t guess that Simon Davis did ‘actually’ kill his wife – most of the jury voted to acquit the fictional father too.
However, the group of 12 couldn’t come to a supermajority decision, meaning The Trial voted a hung jury. And that jury didn’t find out what ‘really’ happened for a long time; the show was filmed in September last year and the panel were left to watch the murder play out on TV like everyone else.
Their reaction after eight months of waiting? RadioTimes.com caught up with three of them to find out…
Gemma – voted not guilty
What was your first thought when you saw Simon did kill his wife?
Disappointment: we had got it wrong. But it could have easily gone the other way!
In our jury WhatsApp group we were still debating it until the final minute while watching the finale. And when we found out we were all really surprised – some were left lying on the floor in shock.
Do you regret not voting guilty?
No, I would have done the same again. I made that ‘not guilty’ choice because there was reasonable doubt.
The people that voted guilty were passionate about their decision, to put it lightly. I think their past experience clouded their judgement. But I was definitely too naive about it. The show has made a big impression on me and I’m definitely less trusting.
Did you speak to any of the actors after the show?
Yes, we spoke to the man who played Simon [Michael Gould] after The Trial and he’s a lot more relaxed in real life! He’s a great actor and he’s totally different from Simon.
We saw others too. All the jurors got together to watch the first episode at the Supreme Court and we got a passerby to take a photo – it was Carla [Emma Lowndes]! It was so strange! She looked so glamorous! And not dead!
Would you want to do jury service with the same group again?
Absolutely no way! Some of the characters were really overpowering! And some were trying to judge if Simon was guilty by whatever barrister had the better credentials. Never again.
We are all still mates though. We’ve made an amazing bond and we’ll be friends for life now!
James – voted not guilty
How did you react to the big reveal?
It was a real shocking twist for me! I was going to vote guilty, but changed my mind at the last minute. There simply wasn’t enough concrete evidence. But is there ever 100% proof? That worries me.
But the jury overall made the correct call – we’re happy with the outcome. We didn’t get it wrong.
How did your feel about other jurors assuming Simon was physically abusive towards his wife?
People have this perception of men, which wasn’t fair in my eyes. Domestic violence happens the other way round – I’ve been on the other side of it. It happens a lot, but you just don’t hear about it. I’m glad I raised this point in the show.
What would you do if you saw Simon Davis’s face on the street?
I’d be VERY wary of seeing Simon out and about – it would be terrifying to think I’d let a murderer on the street! But Michael [Gould, who plays Simon] is such a lovely guy and an amazing actor – definitely not a murderer!
Has the show changed how you would approach jury service?
No, I would still act and vote the same way. You can’t bring past experience into it, after all.
Martha – voted guility
Were you happy you guessed correctly that Simon did it?
I didn’t feel particularly pleased about it. I still felt sad due to the domestic abuse that The Trial highlighted. It’s a fictional case, but it is a frequent occurrence.
What convinced you Simon was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?
It became very clear when he was in the witness box that he was obsessed with Carla and her leaving him would tip him over the edge. He had that sort of controlling personality.
Did the cameras influence the jurors’ behaviour?
I don’t think so. It really wasn’t obvious there were cameras in the courtroom or the canteen. So we stopped thinking about it. It was all very natural.
Did you ever change your mind about Simon’s guilt since the show was filmed?
Not really, I’ve not thought about it, to be honest. I thought I got it right and I stuck to it.