Rough Diamond: documentary

Rough Diamond is a long-form documentary in development. The clip above is the end of a special film made by World in Action in 1972 re-examining the case.

This is the story of London in the 60's and 70's, the class system, police corruption and how a miscarriage of justice can affect a man's life and mind.

In 1965 the famous Colenso Diamond was stolen from the Natural History Museum in London. David Knight was wrongfully convicted of the theft at the Old Bailey and sentenced to 3 years in prison. Continually protesting his innocence, upon his release Private Eye took up his case and also the ITV investigative show, World in Action, reconstructed the crime and trial, exposing the lack of evidence in the case and the dangerous precedent the conviction created which still exists in British Law today: that a defendant can be convicted solely upon the word of a police officer with no other evidence.

Knight went on to lead a mysterious and colourful life of crime and capers, including the puzzle of the disappearance and recovery of Vermeer's masterpiece "The Guitar Player" from Kenwood House in London - was it Knight or the IRA?

©colenso films ltd 2018