Pub landlords Jim and Carol Radford (James Booth and Joan Collins) are grieving for the death of their young daughter Jenny, who was raped and murdered by Seely (Kenneth Griffith); Jim has two other children by his first marriage, Lee (Tom Marshall) and Jill (Zuleika Robson). Seely is arrested for the crime by the Inspector (Donald Morley), but ultimately released due to a lack of evidence. As well as Jenny, Seely is suspected of also killing the daughter of Jim's friend Harry (Ray Barrett). Seely himself lives a quiet, hermit-like existence, but he is observed stopping at a primary school near his house to watch the children.
Seeking revenge, Harry and Lee urge Jim to kidnap Seely and keep him in the cellar of his pub. After some persuasion, Jim agrees to the plan; they capture Seely, beat him beyond recognition and keep him locked beneath the pub. This puts pressure on the Radford family, who don't dare release him but are too afraid to kill him. Having Seely in the cellar puts a strain on the relationships within the family, especially between Carol and Lee, and also on the business, when Carol tries to prevent brewery deliveryman Fred (Geoffrey Hughes) from delivering the stock. Things reach a head when it seems that Seely may be innocent after all, and the relationships between Jim, Harry and Lee become more fractured.
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