Emmy Winner’s Caretaker Denied Retraction of $95K Theft Guilty Plea


The United Kingdom was not forgiving to a certain professional caretaker alleged to have fed his gambling mania with £75K (an equivalent of US$95K), stolen from an Emmy Award-winning writer and director. The caretaker’s aspirations of rescinding his guilty plea have ultimately faltered.

Alan Patillo, the Emmy Award-winning writer, and director, most notably acclaimed for his dynamic roles in the iconic Thunderbirds, a children’s action show that utilized electronic marionette puppetry in its creation, was the unfortunate victim of this charade. Beyond Thunderbirds, Patillo’s creative mastery rode the crest of success as he scribed the predecessors – Supercar, Fireball XL5, and Stingray, all of which resonated with children in the 1960s.

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Thunderbirds was etched so deeply in popular culture that it propagated a parody by South Park maestros, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, relayed through Team America: World Police. However, Patillo’s forte was not just limited to writing and direction. Proving the expanse of his talent, he also acquired the role of a sound editor for counterculture classic, Performance, directed by Nicholas Roeg and starring Mick Jagger, and many will remember him as the sound editor for Pink Floyd’s 1982 surrealist musical, The Wall.

His crowning moment, however, was when he clinched an Emmy for his trail-blazing work on the anti-war television movie All Quiet on the Western Front, aired in 1979.

The theft took place whilst Alan Patillo was succumbing to stage-five Parkinson’s disease, left completely immobile and blind. During this period, Allan John Beacham, 66, his full-time carer, used Patillo’s finances as his own.

The court heard how Beacham, already residing in a house that Patillo had purchased for him, drained the writer’s bank accounts between January 1, 2017, and June 1, 2019. Patillo, tragically, passed away in January 2020 at the age of 90.

Beacham had originally entered a not guilty plea but ensuing dramatic disturbances in the courtroom led to the suspension of the first trial. This included Beacham asserting his unwell condition and driving himself a stretch of 150 miles back to his home. Mirroring the evident decline in Patillo’s health, later on, Beacham astonishingly collapsed after hearing an array of prosecution evidence.

On the launch of the second trial, Beacham decided to plead guilty to the count of theft. However, to add to the saga’s theatrics, he later begged to retract this plea during his sentencing hearing in March.

Despite a closing plea from his attorney to postpone the case for Beacham to obtain a medical report, Judge Adam Feest of Winchester Crown Court displayed neither patience nor sympathy. “The defendant has had ample time to obtain medical evidence. Even if this was obtained, he still entered a voluntary guilty plea.” said Feest.

The judge’s final verdict clears the air around the case, putting an end to pleas and disruptions, and setting a new date of sentencing on June 21. He forewarned Beacham, indicating that the probability of a prison sentence was highly likely. As such, the fate of the rogue caretaker, Beacham, now hangs by a thread.