Appropriate Adult

Sunday, 11 September 2011, 9:00PM – 10:30PM


In February 1994 Janet Leach, a mother of five from Gloucestershire, was at home making her children’s tea when the phone rang. Janet was on an access course which when completed would enable her to train as a social worker. Janet was also on an approved list of ‘appropriate adults’, volunteers who can be asked by the police to sit in on interviews with minors or vulnerable adults in order to assist them and safeguard their rights. 

Following the phone call she left the house and arrived at Gloucester police station where she was asked to assist a 52 year old male, Frederick Walter Stephen West. 

So began the extraordinary and largely unpublicised story of how Janet Leach helped to uncover the crimes of Fred and Rosemary West and establish how many victims the Wests had murdered and where the bodies were hidden. 

Fred West began to view Janet as his confidante and often chose to disclose unknown facts about the scale and the nature of his crimes to her. At pivotal stages in the investigation, Fred deliberately misled the investigating officers. Aware from the private conversations with Fred that there were more victims to be found, Janet threatened to turn her back on the case unless he told the truth. 

The multi award-winning production team responsible for Mo, See No Evil: The Moors Murders, This Is Personal: The Hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper, The Murder of Stephen Lawrence and Wall of Silence, have produced the drama, written and executive produced by Neil McKay, executive produced by Jeff Pope and produced by Lisa Gilchrist with co-producer Kwadjo Dajan. 

Appropriate Adult completes a trilogy of notorious murder cases (the previous two being See No Evil: The Moors Murders and This Is Personal: The Hunt For The Yorkshire Ripper) produced as factual drama by ITV Studios. 

The two x 90-minute episodes of Appropriate Adult have been commissioned by ITV’s Director of Drama Commissioning Laura Mackie and is directed by Julian Jarrold (Red Riding, Becoming Jane, Brideshead Revisited).

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