Judge Deed presides over the murder trial of a prison inmate who killed a fellow prisoner. His defense is that the victim was a known pedophile and he killed him 'in the defense of others' a defense that is normally used in moments of dire emergency or threat. Jo Mills, for the defense, argues that there was a pressing need for the accused to act in the defense of other children that the victim might molest. In a separate case, Deed hears an argument from a woman who wishes to sue the town council for not providing enough information on her adopted son, a very violent teenager who not only raped her daughter, but also is currently before Judge Everard charged with raping his teacher. Jo's life is turned upside down when the adoption authorities advise her of an important change in Michael Hulsey's family situation.