Fred West’s daughter condemns new ITV drama


The daughter of Cromwell Street killer Fred West yesterday broke a ten-year silence to condemn a controversial new ITV drama about the grisly mass murders.

Fred West's daughter condemns new ITV drama

Distraught Anne Marie Davis believes the TV dramatisation will revive deeply traumatic memories for the families of Fred and Rose West’s victims.

Anne Marie, whose own mother Rena Costello and half-sisters Charmaine and Heather were all murdered, said: ”I felt physically sick when I heard about the plans to turn the tragic events which devastated so many people’s lives into a TV drama.

”I haven’t spoken about this for ten years and the only reason I am speaking now is because I want ITV to realise they will be causing unimaginable distress to the families of the young girls who were murdered.

”No-one should kid themselves, the object of this drama is to make money.

”But the programme makers have to recognise that a lot of vulnerable young women died.
”They were real people and their loved ones are real people too who are still suffering and their wounds will only be reopened by a TV drama like this.”

ITV’s three-hour drama ‘Appropriate Adult’ focuses on the period between the Wests’ arrests in 1994 and Fred’s suicide in Birmingham’s Winson Green Prison on New Year’s Day 1995, as he awaited trial for 12 murders.

Actor Dominic West, the British star of the cult US cop show The Wire, will play the Gloucester builder, and Monica Dolan has been cast as Rose.

Mother-of-eight Rose, 57, is currently serving life in Low Newton prison after being convicted of ten murders in 1995.

Yesterday Anne Marie, 46, said: ”If the story is scripted from my father’s arrest it will cover the time when all those poor victims were found.

”I will never forget the images of police officers carrying their remains out of 25 Cromwell Street in crates.

”I was only six when I lost my mother Rena after my father murdered her. I was so young I never really got to know her, but I still miss her.

”The following year in 1971, my eight-year-old half-sister Charmaine disappeared and Rose told me she had gone away with my mum.”

In 1987, Fred West strangled his daughter Heather, 16, and dismembered her body before burying her remains beneath the garden patio at 25 Cromwell Street.

Anne Marie said: ”I was like a little mother to Heather, changing her nappies when she was a baby.

”I’m still devastated by the loss of Heather because I just didn’t realise how much danger she was in. That is always in my mind.

”I know how traumatic my own losses have been, but I cannot possibly imagine the pain the other families have suffered and are continuing to suffer.”

The TV drama’s title ‘Appropriate Adult’ was chosen after voluntary worker Janet Leach was selected to sit in on Fred West’s interviews with detectives as an independent appropriate adult as a safeguard, because police chiefs were concerned by his low intellect.

ITV claim their intention is to produce ”a sober, thought-provoking drama based on a true story” with the events unfolding through Janet Leach’s eyes.

Mrs Leach told Winchester Crown Court West had told her he had made ”a pact” with Rose to take the blame for the killings and he had also claimed there were ”another 20 unknown victims”.

Yesterday mother-of-two Anne Marie, who still lives in Gloucester, said: ”One newspaper report claimed Janet Leach ‘won my father’s confidence,’ but this was never the case.

”She was merely a toy, an audience to his sickness, someone new to manipulate. She was completely out of her depth dealing with a master of manipulation and deceit.”

Anne Marie, who was first sexually abused by the Wests when she was just eight and ran away from Cromwell Street aged 15, said: ”I knew Fred and Rose were dangerous people, but I didn’t realise how dangerous.

”I knew they were involved in incest and paedophilia, but I thought it was confined to me.

”This TV drama appears to be attempting to define characters. These are not fictional characters, but extremely complex individuals who only shared their darkest secrets with each other.”

ITV executive producer Jeff Pope has insisted: ”Our intention is to produce a sober and thought-provoking drama based on a true story.”

Retired Det Supt John Bennett, who led the West inquiry, is also concerned the ITV drama should be an accurate portrayal of the investigation.

He said: ”Janet Leach was Fred West’s appropriate adult and signed a confidentiality agreement. But she entered into a deal to reveal Fred West’s conversations with her for commercial gain.

”If the ITV drama portrays her role accurately it will have to show how she perjured herself in court by denying she had received any remuneration and came very close to causing the collapse of the trial of Rosemary West.”

Yesterday Anne Marie, who works in a Gloucester supermarket, said: ”I have had customers come up to me and say ‘Is there anything you can do to stop this programme – or anything we can do?’

”All I can say is that a lot of women and young girls lost their lives in desperately tragic circumstances and they deserve to be remembered – not to be seen as mere public property.

”Listen to their families and realise what is best for all.”


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