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#FreeDot: 30 residents who should be in prison instead of Dot

There are many injustices in this world, but few as glaring (or ironic) as the imprisonment of Dot Branning for a crime she did not commit, the long overdue death of Nick Cotton.
It seems to me that if Dot had been given adequate representation she would not be in this predicament. I am not a solicitor, but if I were, this is the argument I would make before the court for Dot’s immediate release:
If it pleases the court (and even if it does not) I would like to petition for the release from prison of one Dot Branning on the grounds that, given what surrounds her home, this court should grade on a curve, and if Your Honour did, Mrs. Branning would not be merely released forthwith, she would be awarded a Nobel Prize. What follows is just a partial inventory of the crimes committed by some of the current (and recent) residents of a certain Albert Square, Borough of Walford, London E20:

1. Phil Mitchell

Phil Mitchell
© BBC
Arson, serial manslaughter, theft, assault, immigration fraud, money laundering, kidnapping, extortion, mumbling.

2. Sharon Mitchell

© BBC
© BBC

Child neglect, self-tanner abuse.

3. Denny Rickman

© BBC
© BBC

Demon child, visage does not appear on surveillance tape; could be getting up to all sorts.

4. Ben Mitchell

© BBC
© BBC

Murder, robbery, assault, stupidity (but no need to imprison; already locked in closet, so it’s a moot point.)

5. Ian Beale

© BBC
© BBC
Soliciting prostitutes, evidence tampering, skimming, clogging bogs with head, serial weasely-ness.

6. Kat Moon

© BBC
© BBC

Theft, assault, public drunkenness, vandalism, general crimes against fashion.

7. Alfie Moon

© BBC
© BBC

Arson, insurance fraud, Peter Pan impersonator.

8. Dean Wicks

© BBC / Kieron McCarron
© BBC / Kieron McCarron
Rape, attempted arson.

9. Shirley Carter

© BBC / Kieron McCarron
© BBC / Kieron McCarron

Littering (she tosses those butts everywhere), wearing same boots for years on end.

10. Lee Carter

© BBC / Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

Desertion.

11. Kim Fox-Hubbard

© BBC
© BBC

Crimes against both fashion and pronunciation.

12. Billy Mitchell

© BBC
© BBC

Theft, arson, squatting, accessory to various crimes, fencing stolen fish.

13. Bobby Beale

© BBC
© BBC

Menacing, serial murder (first victim, his mum Laura who tripped over his strategically placed toy. Accident? I think not!) Once he realises he doesn’t have to go upstairs on demand, watch out.

14. Jane Beale

© BBC / Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

Accessory to murder (possibly a murderer herself), witness tampering, keeps marrying same plonker (coulda had Grant, chose Ian, psych evaluation recommended).

15. Abi Branning

© BBC
© BBC

Canine-icide, evidence tampering, (do we know what really happened to Madge?)

16. Max Branning

© BBC / Jack Barnes / Kieron McCarron
© BBC / Jack Barnes / Kieron McCarron

Insurance fraud, extortion, (is it a crime to think you are too sexy for your shirt? It should be!)

17. Charlie Cotton

© BBC
© BBC

Impersonating a police officer, theft, fraud, tampering with dead body, breaking his grandma’s heart.

18. Sonia Fowler

 © BBC / Nicky Johnston
© BBC / Nicky Johnston

Theft.

19. Denise Fox

© BBC
© BBC

Theft.

20. Masood Ahmed

© BBC
© BBC

Theft.

21. Mick Carter

© BBC
© BBC

Speaking without subtitles.

22. Les Coker

© BBC
© BBC

Fraud, tampering with dead body, extortion, might be vampire. Good dancer though.

23. Ronnie Mitchell

© BBC
© BBC

Murder, kidnapping, extortion, ordering a hit.

24. Vincent Hubbard

© BBC / Jack Barnes
© BBC / Jack Barnes

Murder, assault.

25. Mr. Oppodopopopodop

Money laundering (what else could he be doing? There’s never anyone in there!)

26. Kush Kazemi

© BBC
© BBC

Public nudity, sexual molestation of produce.

27/28. D.I. Marsden & D.I. Keeble

© BBC
© BBC

Gross inability to shoot fish in a barrel. Meow.

29. Tracey T. Barmaid

© BBC
© BBC

Possible serial killer. The evidence? In the last 30 years, a high percentage of Queen Vic landlords have been murdered and what did they all have in common? They all employed Tracey. It’s always the quiet ones!

30. Kathy Beale

© BBC / Des Willie
© BBC / Des Willie

Insurance fraud, child abandonment, crimes against acrylic sheep, selling soul (DI Marsden should search that Notting Hill house for the painting that’s ageing in her place!)

And yet in spite of all this, Dot Branning, this upstanding, goodness-seeking, bible-quoting, Victoria Sponge-baking woman languishes in prison. Where is the justice? Your Honour, the nation, nay, the world demand that she be released forthwith! Justice demands it. Thank you.

About the author

Deborah Gilbert

Deborah Gilbert has been a fan of EastEnders ever since Den, Ali & Arthur kicked in the door to Reg Cox's bedsit. She writes & publishes The E20 Chronicles, a magazine that supports EastEnders on PBS in the US, and also publishes a free, weekly EastEnders e-newsletter, and blogs for PBS about British TV.