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Date set for Downing murder drama

The BBC’s drama In Denial of Murder, based on former newspaper editor Don Hale’s battle to reverse a miscarriage of justice, will be shown on Sunday February 29.

The story, likely to attract interest from all journalists, follows Don’s campaign to free convicted murderer Stephen Downing from prison.

Don’s determination to prove Downing’s innocence captured the imagination of the press and public alike, resulting in him being awarded the OBE for services to journalism.

Downing was said to have murdered Wendy Sewell in Bakewell cemetery in the Peak District in 1973, when he was 17.

He was convicted and because he failed to stop protesting his innocence – remaining “in denial of murder” – he was kept in prison beyond the normal tariff.

After his release in 2002 following a Court of Appeal quashing of the conviction, the case hit the headlines as one of Britain’s most significant miscarriages of justice.

Stephen Tompkinson will play Don, who used to edit the Matlock Mercury, while Caroline Catz will take on the role of Wendy Sewell.

More information on the drama, and a synopsis of the two-part story – the second part to be shown the following Sunday – can be found here.

  • ‘In Denial of Murder’ will be shown on BBC1 on Sunday February 29 at 9pm.

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