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New BBC Drama 'Responsible Child' Looks So Chilling

New BBC Drama 'Responsible Child' Looks So Chilling

BBC2's new one-off drama Responsible Child looks nothing short of a chilling watch - and if you're gripped by true crime, we think this will pique your interest.

The thought-provoking drama, which is inspired by real-life events, follows 12-year-old Ray, who is charged with murdering his abusive stepfather alongside his brother Nathan, 23.

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Ray, who is described as a "sensitive" child and has acted as a carer to his infant half-siblings, is tried as an adult for the crime despite only being on the cusp of adolescence.

The 90-minute drama explores England's minimum age of criminal responsibility and more importantly whether a child can ever be as responsible for their actions as an adult.

The factual drama is set across two separate time frames; the run-up to the murder and the trial itself, and marks BAFTA-winning documentary maker Nick Holt's drama-making debut.

'Responsible Child' is BBC's new drama airing next Monday (Credit: BBC)
'Responsible Child' is BBC's new drama airing next Monday (Credit: BBC)
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The BBC programme stars Billy Barratt as Ray and James Tarpey as Ray's older brother Nathan.

The rest of the stellar cast includes Game of Thrones' Michelle Fairley, The History Boys actor Stephen Campbell Moore, Killing Eve's Owen McDonnell and Top Boy actor Shaun Dingwall.

Written by Skins' Sean Buckley, the drama draws comparisons from the 2014 case of Jerome Ellis, 14, and his brother Joshua, 23, who murdered their stepfather in a knife attack as he lay on the family sofa.

Both siblings stated at the time of their trial that their stepfather was abusive and had previously threatened to kill Joshua, who struggled with depression.

The drama follows 12-year-old Ray, who is charged with murdering his abusive stepfather alongside his brother Nathan, 23 (Credit: BBC)
The drama follows 12-year-old Ray, who is charged with murdering his abusive stepfather alongside his brother Nathan, 23 (Credit: BBC)

Ultimately, Jerome, who was a young carer for his half-siblings much like character Ray, was sentenced to six years in detention for manslaughter.

Nick Holt, the show's director, said of the upcoming drama: "Whilst making The Murder Trial, I discovered that in England, we put children as young as ten on trial for murder.

"It's an extraordinary and little-known aspect of our justice system. Ten is one of the lowest ages in the world and breaches our obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"This is a story I've wanted to tell for a long time, since I attended the trial on which our film is based, and I'm delighted to be working with Kudos and the BBC."

Ray is tried as an adult for the crime despite only being on the cusp of adolescence (Credit: BBC)
Ray is tried as an adult for the crime despite only being on the cusp of adolescence (Credit: BBC)

Responsible Child will air on Monday, 16th December at 9pm on BBC2.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: True Crime, BBC, TV News, TV Entertainment

Lisa McLoughlin

Lisa is a freelance journalist working for Tyla and the team's token Dubliner. After graduating with a MA in PR and Digital Marketing from D.I.T., she worked for MailOnline, Sun Online, Irish Independent and broadcaster RTÉ. Got a story of interest or want advice on how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness? Then email her at [email protected]

 

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