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Sheridan Smith to lead cast of ITV drama ‘I Fought The Law’

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Sheridan Smith to lead cast of ITV drama ‘I Fought The Law’

The story is based on real life events…

The heart-breaking, real-life story of a mother’s love, courage and determination to change the Double Jeopardy Law, and see her daughter’s murderer brought to justice, is to be dramatised by ITV starring Sheridan Smith as the woman who took on the Criminal Justice System.

Sheridan Smith:

“I am so honoured to have been asked to play the role of Ann Ming, a mother so determined to fight for justice for her murdered daughter that she spent 15 years campaigning for the Double Jeopardy Law to be changed. She is a truly courageous and remarkable woman to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude.”

Written by screenwriter Jamie Crichton the I Fought The Law recounts how tenacious mother of three, Ann Ming, battled for 15 years so that her daughter’s murderer could finally face justice, having been controversially acquitted following two mistrials.

Jamie’s scripts are based on Ann’s book For The Love of Julie which tells how Ann and her family dealt with Julie’s disappearance in Billingham, Cleveland in November 1989 after working her late shift at a local pizza parlour.

Ann Ming, who will act as consultant throughout the production process, said of the television adaptation ‘I am very pleased that Hera Pictures will tell the story of my campaign to overturn the Double Jeopardy Law. My daughter’s killer was wrongfully acquitted, and a number of years later confessed to her murder, for which he could only be prosecuted for perjury due to the 800-year-old Double Jeopardy Law. I wasn’t going to let this stand in my way of getting justice for Julie. I’m overwhelmed that Sheridan Smith will be playing me. Having such an iconic and talented actress portray me is truly wonderful.’

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The four-part series will air on ITV1, STV, STV Player and ITVX.

Screenwriter Jamie Crichton:

“As soon as I heard Ann’s story, of her iron resolve and unbelievable courage to see justice done in the face of adversity, I knew this was one that had to be told. Ann is a shining beacon of what can be achieved if you stop at nothing to make your voice heard. In an age when it’s all too easy to feel helpless, we need more Ann Mings in the world.”

Mother to three-year-old, Kevin, and married to husband, Andrew, Julie was only 22 when she died. Raised in a loving home, she was incredibly close to her parents, Ann and Charlie. Tragically, Ann found Julie’s body concealed in the bathroom of her modest terraced house in January 1990, 80 days after it was hidden behind the bath panel by her killer. This was in spite of extensive searches of the property by police forensics teams in the days after her disappearance, who failed to detect her body.

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Dissatisfied with Cleveland Constabulary and their investigation, Ann challenged senior officers and applied pressure on the police to discover what had happened to her daughter and to prosecute the man who was guilty of her murder.The drama follows Ann and her family, as they campaign tirelessly in Julie’s name.

In her steadfast and indomitable style and despite her grief, Ann took on the Criminal Justice System, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Law Commission, eminent Defence Barristers in television debates, the Government, the Lord Chancellor, the Attorney General, and two Home Secretaries as she ‘fought the law.’ Hera Pictures is a leading independent production company founded by award-winning Executive Producer Liza Marshall in 2017.

Filming is due to commence in August 2024 in Teesside and surrounding areas, in collaboration with North East Screen via the North East Production fund.

The drama is the lastest in a series of real-life dramatisations from the broadcaster which also include Litvinenko starring David Tennant the story of the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy, Nolly featuring Helena Bonham-Carter as television trailblazer Noele Gordon, Archie the biopic telling the story of the life of Hollywood royalty Cary Grant and the hugely successful Mr Bates vs The Post Office which has helped the real-life victims of the Post Office scandal.

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