Movie hardman Ray Winstone helps a wine maker carry out the perfect murder in chilling domestic abuse film
- The action film star is helping to raise money for Against Violence And Abuse
- Around five million women and 2.5 million men will experience domestic abuse
- Winstone plays himelf, an actor who has appeared in many gangster movies
- In the film, vintner James Montague wants to murder critic Candice Deville
He is the top actor who has played tough guys in a string of Oscar-winning Hollywood blockbusters.
From his career-launching role as a thug in borstal drama Scum in 1979 to his hard-bitten Cockney copper character in 2015’s The Legend Of Barney Thomson, via being star of Martin Scorcese’s The Departed, Ray Winstone is known as the hard man of the movies.
But the film hero’s latest role is helping raise much-needed money for a charity which helps the victims of domestic violence.
Winstone, the star of big-screen triumphs such as Sexy Beast, Nil By Mouth and The Sweeney, has pledged to drum up funds for London-based good cause Against Violence And Abuse (AVA).
The charity provides services for those who have been battered by their partners or other family members, with a focus on helping women and girls. The latest project is aiming to raise thousands of pounds.
Research has shown that 30 per cent of women - about five million - and 16 per cent of men, or 2.5million, experience domestic abuse during their lives.
Ray Winstone has starred in a chilling domestic abuse film in a bid to raise money for charity Against Violence and Abuse. Winstone plays himself, an actor who has starred in popular gangster movies
Winstone plays himself – an actor who has played a hard case in a raft of acclaimed and popular gangster movies – in a darkly comic murder story written by best-selling crime novelist Peter James.
The plot centres on fictional vintner James Montague who is angered at the ‘unreasonable scowling reviews’ on British wine by beautiful but snobbish critic Candice Deville.
She attends a posh party but scornfully dismisses his latest bouquet of English fizz as unremarkable. Pouring a glass of wine into the dirt, she mocks: ‘This has absolutely no nose at all – none. It totally lacks body.’
In a murderous rage, the suave but dastardly Montague calls Winstone for advice – ‘hypothetically’ – on committing the ‘perfect murder’.
Fictional vintner James Montague asks Winstone for help on committing the 'perfect murder' on beautiful but snobbish critic Candice Deville. He replies: 'I may be a hard man but that don't make me a killer in real life'
The actor replies: ‘I may be a hard man in the movies but that don’t make me a killer in real life. But I have picked up a few simple rules along the way. I could tell you as long as you promise not to act on them.’
Montague insists his request is ‘just a bit of fun’. But he is ‘lying through his wine-stained teeth,’ says the book.
Reassured, Winstone says that he thought poison would be a ‘good option’. ‘Unless the pathologist knows what to look for it can be hard to detect,’ he says.
He also suggests smashing the victim over the head with a wine bottle: ‘For a wine producer like yourself, that would have a certain – shall we say – finesse.’ He also suggests strangulation: ‘No murder weapon.’
Montague eventually kills the critic by hurling her into a vat then making wine in it. Over the course of three years, the chemical process dissolves her corpse, but creates a wine with ‘such a wonderful nose'
But he warns: ‘The real perfect murder is the one where there is no body. Without a body, murder is extremely hard to prove. You must of course be completely thorough. Even just the tiniest body part can give the modern detective all he needs.’
His words spur Montague into action, who kills the critic by hurling her into a vat then making wine in it. Over the course of three years, the chemical process dissolves her corpse, but creates a wine with ‘such a wonderful nose – and truly full-bodied.’
The booklet costs £3, with £2 going to charity. The rest of the money covers the costs of production. The story – called Murder At Ridgeview – was dreamed up by Mr James and Brighton-based tailor Gresham Blake and shot at Ridgeview Wine Estate on the outskirts of the city.
Against Violence And Abuse is a leading charity committed to ending gender-based violence and abuse. It works to end violence against women and girls through policy, research and prevention.
It trains around 3,000 people a year, including local authority workers and health professionals, how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse, how to ask the right questions and where to refer victims so they get help.
Around five million women and 2.5 million men will experience domestic abuse. The cost of domestic violence in England and Wales is £23 billion a year
The cost of domestic violence in England and Wales is a staggering £23billion a year. Shockingly, two women are murdered by their partners or ex-partners every week. Every year, 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 raped.
The toll of the trauma also extends to children, with some 750,000 witnessing domestic violence – often scarring them emotionally for life.
Donna Covey, director of Against Violence And Abuse, said: ‘For the two women a week murdered by their partner or ex-partner, death at the hands of a man are a reality, not a fantasy.
‘We are delighted that this project is recognising this by giving the profits from ‘Murder at Ridgeview’ to AVA which we will use in our attempt to end violence against women and girls. We hope this book will remind people in a subtle way of that appalling figure.’
Two women are murdered by their partners or ex-partners every week. Every year, 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 raped. Ray Winstone said: 'Violence is not acceptable in any form’
Ray Winstone said: ‘This story is a bit of fun. But it is important to remember that violence is not acceptable in any form so it's great that money from the book goes to help those who suffer from domestic violence.’
Peter James said: ‘It is a terribly sad statistic that victims of domestic violence are so demoralised and afraid, they will endure over 30 attacks from their partner before they first seek help.
‘I’ve been going out with the police in this country on a regular basis for over 25 years. On every response shift I’ve ever done, there has always been at least one emergency call from a domestic violence victim.’
Gresham Blake said: ‘Just like any crime story there is violence. I volunteer with an addiction rehabilitation centre in London and I have heard many stories first hand of domestic violence, in these cases relating to alcohol and drug abuse. It made sense to put money made from the sale of the book to help create awareness of this unfortunate but very present problem in our society.’
To buy the book, visit the Gresham Blake site.
To contact Against Violence And Abuse, visit their website.
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