Harry Jukes (pop singer Adam Faith) is a garage hand of necessity and a guitarist by inclination whose spiritual home is the La Paloma coffee bar in London’s Battersea.
Mona (Topsy Jane) is his gang’s symbol of beauty, but only he and Gravy (Anthony Booth, future star of Till Death Us Do Part and father-in-law of Prime Minister Tony Blair) are in the running for her affections.
It is Harry’s desire to outshine Gravy that leads him to make the first wrong move and “borrow” Mona’s dream car, a Bentley Continental, but Mona refuses to ride in it, and Harry takes coffee bar waitress Jenny (Doctor Who girl Carole Ann Ford) home instead.
Once alone in the powerful convertible, Harry bursts a tyre in a skid. A policeman who tries to help him waves down an approaching lorry to get a car jack – but the lorry is full of stolen goods, and the men in the truck panic, shoot the constable and drive off.
Harry has just enough time to snatch the weapon from the murderer’s gloved hand, and it is in these incriminating circumstances that the Flying Squad find him – revolver in hand beside a dead policeman and a stolen car on a lonely road . . .
Harry is awarded legal aid, and Philip Bellamy QC (Donald Sinden) is appointed as his defence counsel. Bellamy is unsympathetic and thinks Harry’s story “reads like a job lot of crazy plot gambits grabbed off a dump of old Mickey Spillanes”. And the public is clamouring to see justice meted out to the boy they visualise as a “hoodlum Ted”.
Conviction – and execution – seem inevitable.
On the other hand, Bellamy’s close personal friend psychiatrist Dr Anne Dyson (Anne Baxter) – who has risen by sheer self-discipline from a humble Stepney background to the height of her profession in Harley Street – is willing to follow any possible lead that will save Harry’s life.
Dr Anne Dyson
Philip Bellamy QC
Carole Ann Ford
Harry’s Mother’s Boyfriend