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Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 11:57 GMT 12:57 UK
The Archer Trial: Key Players
The Archer Trial: Key Players
Following the verdict in Lord Archer's prejury trial, Panorama looks at some of the key characters in this fascinating story.
Lord Archer paid his friend to leave the country once the Monica Coghlan story broke in 1986. Mr Stacpoole says, "He paid me £40,000 to keep my mouth shut". Mr Stacpoole spent eight months in Paris before returning to the UK where monthly payments continued. He was a danger to Lord Archer as he knew about the novelist's infidelities with his long-standing mistress Andrina Colquhoun, and with prostitutes.
When Lord Archer was running for Mayor of London, Mr Stacpoole thought him unsuitable for the job. He later told Panorama "Archer does what the hell he wants to do, and good luck to him, but don't involve everybody else. How long has he lied for? How many times have people helped this man out with lies - I mean he has lied and lied and lied."
For the 1987 trial, Lord Archer asked Mrs Peppiatt to fill in a blank diary from a list of names he provided. But rather than painstakingly rewrite the whole book, she was instructed to simply write up the relevant days. The sides of the volume were bound so that nobody else could see the rest of it was empty.
Everyone in the 1987 trial accepted the diary was genuine. But Mrs Peppiatt kept crucial evidence, including Lord Archer's note of what he told her to write, and most important of all, the original diary which he had concealed from the jury.
Some years after the trial Mrs Peppiatt said, "It wasn't until I had been through that trial with Jeffrey... that I understood how you could manipulate justice to a degree that's almost incredible... As far as I'm concerned justice doesn't exist any more because you can buy it."
Lord Archer famously told Ms Coghlan to go to Victoria station the following morning to collect the money. Michael Stacpoole was caught by the paper offering Ms Coghlan a packet said to contain £2000. He told Panorama it was actually much more.
The scandal caused Lord Archer to resign from the Conservative party. He sued the Star newspaper, which had gone much further than the News of the World in its allegations about him and Ms Coghlan.
During the trial, Lord Archer's tactic was to argue that he had never met Ms Coghlan. Her story was that Lord Archer picked her up in Shepherd Market in Mayfair in the early hours of the morning. They then went back to her hotel in Victoria where the novelist paid her £70 for sex.
The jury backed Lord Archer and rejected Ms Coghlan's account, and he famously won half a million pounds in damages.
Monica Coghlan died in a car crash in April 2001.
She went back to the novelist's apartment with him and had a glass of champagne before they took things further. She told Panorama "He gave me a £50 note, stripped off and we did the deed."
Ms Douglas later heard about the 1987 Daily Star libel case and offered to give evidence. She came to London but in the end the Daily Star's lawyers felt it was too risky to call her. They thought she was telling the truth, but Mary Archer had been such a success on the witness stand that the lawyers feared they might have to pay even more damages if Ms Douglas appeared.
Ms Colquhoun, a former professional photographer, was effectively Lord Archer's London wife, whilst Mary lived in Grantchester.
The novelist found perfect cover for the affair in his overseas writing trips, where he'd take daily strolls along exotic beaches. A documentary team, which filmed him in the Bahamas, say the couple never hid they were lovers.
Ms Colquhoun became a big political risk for Lord Archer after Cecil Parkinson had resigned from the Cabinet for making his secretary pregnant. Angela Peppiatt replaced her as personal assistant to Lord Archer in 1985.
According to Michael Stacpoole, when Margaret Thatcher appointed Lord Archer Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, one of the prerequisites was that he would have to stop seeing Ms Colquhoun. But Lord Archer carried on seeing her, although more surreptitiously, until the affair fizzled out.
Mr Baker contradicted Monica Coghlan's allegations about a liaison with Lord Archer. He swore on oath in support of Lord Archer's story that the two men were actually chatting together in Le Caprice restaurant at that time.
Mr Baker said the novelist then gave him a lift back in his Jaguar to his home in South London. It now looks like Terence Baker lied to save his friend. He was rewarded with more negotiating rights to Lord Archer's books.
He confessed to several of his friends that he had not told the truth in court. This included two ITV executives who have spoken to Panorama.
Mr Baker died of a heart attack in 1991. And according to Angela Peppiatt, Lord Archer was highly relieved by this.
She met Lord Archer through Conservative fund-raising work. The affair started to blossom once Lord Archer came under scrutiny in the race for London mayor.
On one occasion during the mayoral race, at a Conservative ball in Mayfair, the pair disappeared and made love in a car park. Lord Archer's campaign team were unaware of the on-going affair.
Sally Farmiloe recently sold her story of the affair to the News of the World for over £100,000. In it she described her three and a half year liaison with Archer.
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