Sheridan Smith

ITV announce Sheridan Smith in ‘I Fought The Law’

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Sheridan Smith will play Ann Ming, who battled for 15 years to ensure her daughter’s murderer faced justice. 

ITV and Hera Pictures (Mary & George) have announced a drama which tells the remarkable story of Ann Ming.

Sheridan Smith will play the campaigner who took on the justice system to change the Double Jeopardy law. The series recounts how the tenacious mother of three battled for 15 years so that her daughter’s murderer would face justice, having been controversially acquitted following two mistrials.

Writer Jamie Crichton (All Creatures Great and Small) adapts Ann Ming’s memoir into a four-part drama.

Here’s what ITV say about I Fought The Law

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.

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.

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.’

Sheridan Smith said:

“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.”

Ann Ming, who acted as a consultant on the series, said:

“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.”

I Fought The Law films in August 2024 in Teesside and surrounding areas. The ITV and ITVX series is made in collaboration with North East Screen via the North East Production fund.