THE GORGEOUS CELEBRITY CHEF NIGELLA LAWSON -DRAGGED THROUGH THE COURTS ….. BUT STILL (IN OUR VIEW) MORE POPULAR THAN EVER… & DESERVEDLY SO.

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'This Morning' TV Programme, London, Britain. - 07 Jan 2014

Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo tell ITV’s This Morning that their trial was mortifying for everyone involved, not just Nigella Lawson.

Nigella Lawson‘s former personal assistants have said they may have won their legal battle but the celebrity chef has won the hearts of the British public.

Elisabetta and Francesca Grillo spoke to ITV This Morning following their acquittal in December on charges of fraudulently using company credit cards, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on designer goods for themselves, while working as personal assistants to Lawson and her ex-husband Charles Saatchi.

The sisters claimed every purchase had been approved by their then bosses, and they were found not guilty by jurors at Isleworth crown court in west London.

“We have won the court case but definitely she had the most support from the public. She [Lawson] is well loved and she will always be loved and I am sure she will be fine,” Francesca Grillo, 35, told the programme on Tuesday. “She is great at what she is doing and I wish her all the best.”

Lawson, whose series The Taste starts on Tuesday evening on Channel 4, said last week that her only desire during the trial had been to protect her children but that she was unable to always do so.

The mother-of-two appeared on the US TV show Good Morning America to promote her new show and was asked about the court case in which allegations of drug-taking arose.

Asked what it was like to be a witness in the trial, Lawson said: “I can’t really remember exactly because you’re so focused on answering the questions to the best of your ability that actually you don’t really have an enormous awareness of yourself.

“Maybe that’s a good thing. My only desire really was to protect my children as much as possible which … alas I couldn’t always do.”

Lawson added that having details of her acrimonious split from the art dealer Saatchi talked about in court under the glare of the world’s media was mortifying.

Nigella Lawson On Good Morning AmericaNigella Lawson tells Good Morning America she felt herself to be on trial. She was not asked about the drug claims made against her in court. Photograph: Barcroft USA”To have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying, but there are people going through an awful lot worse and to dwell on any of it would be self-pity and I don’t like to do that,” she said.

She said she was looking towards the future. “Since then I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate, had a very good Christmas and am into the new year.”

Lawson admitted during the trial that she took cocaine with her late husband John Diamond when he found out he had terminal cancer, and in 2010 when she claimed she was being “subjected to intimate terrorism” by Saatchi. Police are to review her admission that she took the

The Grillos said on Tuesday it was brave of their former employer to admit during the trial that she had taken cocaine. The sisters said they did not feel guilty about Lawson giving evidence because their own “freedom was at stake”.

Francesca Grillo said: “It was tough but it was more tough to sit down in a dock and think, I might be in prison for a long time.”

She said of Lawson’s family affairs being aired publicly: “I felt sorry for all of us involved. We shouldn’t have reached that. But unfortunately you are in a position where your freedom is at stake so you have to tell your side of the story … I wish it didn’t happen, but I had to think about my freedom.”

She added: “We were in court not because of her drug use or because we wanted her to be punished. In admitting it, I think she was very brave to do so … but I didn’t feel guilty.

“It’s mortifying for her, it’s mortifying for us, it’s mortifying for everybody involved.”

Elisabetta said: “I feel sorry that we ended up in that situation, that she [Lawson] did admit to that. But no, not guilty, because it was nothing to do with me, it’s her life.”

Francesca said of being accused: “It’s like you wake up one morning and your mother says, ‘I’m not your mother any more, sorry. You’ve been with me all your life, but I don’t know you any more.'”

Elisabetta added: “There are no winners in this situation. All of us lost something.”

Francesca said it was too early for a reconciliation with Lawson. “It’s like a broken mirror – you can glue it back together but you see all the cracks.”

She said that when she was told of the jury’s verdict, her sister had a panic attack. “At that point I just wanted my sister to be well. I wasn’t very worried about the verdict.”

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VICTORIAN (circa 1850’s) LITTLE DEAN PRISON WARDEN /GUARD TUNIC BUTTONS NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL

A RARE FIND AND A HISTORICALLY SIGNIFICANT PART OF LITTLEDEAN JAILS HISTORY NOW HERE ON DISPLAY

EARLY VICTORIAN (CIRCA 1850’S) PRISON WARDEN/GUARD TUNIC BUTTONS AS WERE ATTACHED TO THE TUNIC AND WORN  HERE AT THE THEN CALLED ” LITTLE DEAN  PRISON ” AS CLEARLY INSCRIBED  HERE ON THE FRONT OF THE BUTTON …COMPLETE WITH  THE VICTORIAN CROWN EMBLEM , ON REVERSE STAMPED WITH THE BUTTON MAKERS NAME …. CHADWIN & SONS BIRMINGHAM .

 Probably insignificant to most visitors …. however I personally treasure these historic and rare original memorabilia items which have recently been, discovered, sourced  and acquired for permanent display here .

Intriguingly these early Victorian Prison Warden/Guard tunic buttons are clearly inscribed LITTLE  DEAN (AS TWO WORDS) WITH PRISON BENEATH (INSTEAD OF GAOL )  … as opposed to it’s early title as having been “Littledean Gaol”.

Littledean Gaol was built during the Georgian Period in 1791 at the same time and by the same architect as Northleach Prison and Horsley Prison . Horsley  Prison having long since been demolished .

Below : Original canvas type early Victorian straight jacket complete with leather straps , as was found in the attic of Littledean Jail during it’s renovation work back in 1986.

This was more than likely used during the Jail’s former use as a “House of Correction” as well as possibly during it’s time as a Victorian Jail ….. In any event a great historic piece here on display at the jail .

THE HISTORY OF LITTLEDEAN JAIL ..PAST AND PRESENT

Here is a brief pictorial history of Littledean Jail from Victorian times to present day …..

A VERY EARLY POSTCARD IMAGE OF LITTLEDEAN GAOL,  WHEN IT WAS USED AS A “HOUSE OF CORRECTION “.


About Littledean Jail – Alcatraz of the Forest…

Standing at the gateway to the Royal Forest of Dean, this former House of Correction – Littledean Jail was designed and built by the Pioneer of Prison Reform – Sir George Onesiphorous Paul and leading Prison Architect of his day – William Blackburn. As a result of the sudden death of Blackburn it was completed under the supervision of his new brother-in-law, architect William Hobson in 1791.

This remarkable Grade II* listed building was built as the most up-to-date, revolutionary House of Correction of its time, and was later seen as the Government’s role model for London’s Pentonville Prison and taken across the seas for the world famous Philadelphian Cherry Hill Penitentiary System in America. It was built for the miserly sum of £1,650. The building work was started in 1788 by Gabriel Rogers, who went bankrupt as a result of not being able to complete the work at such low costs. London Builder J. Fentiman was brought in to finish the job.

Behind the austere gatehouse entrance, the prison, with it’s formidable sandstone façade remains much as it was when first built. Steeped in history and infamy, its awesome appearance provides a stark reminder of the hard labour and craftsmanship needed to build this architecturally important jailhouse.

EARLY VICTORIAN PRISON WARDEN/GUARD TUNIC BUTTON

 Probably insignificant to visitors …. however I love this item which has been recently discovered and acquired for display here . Intriguingly this early Victorian Prison Warden/Guard tunic button is worded LITTLE DEAN (AS TWO WORDS) WITH PRISON BENEATH (INSTEAD OF GAOL )  … as opposed to it’s early title as having been “Littledean Gaol”.

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Littledean Jail – ‘The Crime Through Time Collection’

Previously set up and housed at a former police station and courthouse at Nicholson House, Newent in Gloucestershire between 1998 – 2003. It had soon outgrown its previous home and as a result of this has been relocated lock, stock and barrel to its much larger home, here at Littledean Jail.
Over the years its owner Andy Jones has become a (some say) controversial and distinguished county personality, with his much-publicised battles with Tewkesbury Borough and Forest of Dean Council planning officers. His ‘Crime Through Time Collection’ is of worldwide interest and is in itself a magnet for publicity… being regularly covered in newspapers, magazines and TV programmes around the globe.
Despite much publicised threats of enforcement, imprisonment and boycotting actions imposed upon the owner over some two decades or more… his collection has been highly acclaimed as being one of the most unorthodox, interesting and historically significant of its kind, providing a unique niche in the Tourism Market place.


Littledean Jail Admission Prices 2012:

Price includes admission to the Quadrophenia Collection.

  • Adults: £7.00
  • OAP’s: £5.95
  • Children (aged 8 – 16): £4.95
    Children under 8: FREE
  • Family: £21.00
  • If you’re 100 years young then admission is FREE!

How to AVOID Littledean Jail!

When you approach Littledean, the ‘Gateway to the Forest of Dean’,
follow the brown tourist signs.
Cars can be accommodated at the entrance to the jail whilst COACHES should simply use the Littledean village bus stops as ‘drop off points’. These are situated approximately 80 metres from the entrance to the jail on either side of the road.


Escape from Littledean Jail!

Gloucester is just 20 minutes from the Jail, but if you want to get further away, Bristol, Cheltenham, Hereford and Cardiff are about 40 minutes. Birmingham is a round hour, whilst London is only just under 3 hours away – but who would want to go there!


Opening times:

  • Open from April 1st to October 31st
  • Day visits are only allowed from 10am to 5pm (last entry 3.45pm)
  • Visiting Orders are not necessary!

Please kindly note that we are only OPEN from Thursdays to Sundays & Bank Holiday’s (or at other times solely at The Jailers discretion).

Occasionally special Corporate, Mystery Tours and Evening Visits for groups of 20 or more can be arranged, but only by kind permission from The Jailer (He’s only a little scary!)
Schools and College visits are also welcome, but must be under strict supervision, as
The Jailer has been known to lock trouble makers in the spare cells if compromised!

ABOVE ARE A FEW IMAGES OF LITTLEDEAN JAIL AS IT IS NOW, BOTH OUTSIDE AND IN.