Sheridan Smith to play Ann Ming in ITV drama on fight to change Double Jeopardy Law

ITV has announced a new drama with beloved actress Sheridan Smith playing brave campaigning Teesside mum Ann Ming.

Smith snapped up the lead role as Billingham mum Ann Ming, the woman credited for her tenacious campaign to change the Double Jeopardy Law, bringing her daughter Julie Hogg's killer to justice. This compelling narrative for 'I Fought The Law' is derived from Jamie Crichton's penmanship, inspired by Ann Ming's book For the Love of Julie.

Sheridan expressed: "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."

The authentic tale follows Ann, an invaluable consultant throughout the production, contending with the harrowing reality of her daughter's murder and the controversies surrounding failed trials of the accused. I Fought The Law is a tribute to Ann Ming - a loving mother-of-three who fought a 15-year-long battle to see the law altered and her daughter's murderer face legal repercussions.

Ann expressed: "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.", reports the Mirror.

Helen Ziegler, ITV's Senior Drama Commissioner, added: "It's a privilege to be working with Sheridan, Jamie and Hera Pictures to bring Ann Ming's extraordinary and unwavering fight for justice for her daughter to ITV. Ann took on the establishment, overturned the law and made history. She is a reminder of the power one voice can have."

The scripts by screenwriter Jamie Crichton are based on Ann's book For The Love of Julie. It narrates how Ann and her family coped with Julie's disappearance in Billingham in November 1989 after she finished her late shift at a local pizza parlour.

Tragically, it was Ann who discovered Julie's body hidden in the bathroom of her home in January 1990, 80 days after it was concealed behind the bath panel by her murderer.

Police forensic teams had scoured the property in the days following Julie's disappearance, but failed to locate her body. Ann took matters into her own hands, challenging senior officers due to dissatisfaction with their investigation and putting pressure on the police to uncover what happened to her daughter and bring the guilty man to justice.

Ann battled against 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 in her quest for justice. Filming is set to commence this August in Teesside, and will be launching on both ITV1 and ITVX networks.

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