February 19, 2021
ITV doc to examine Louise Woodward trial
Voltage TV’s Sanjay Singhal to exec investigation of au-pair’s high-profile legal case
ITV has greenlit a feature doc marking 25 years since the trial of Louise Woodward, Broadcast can reveal.
Voltage TV is behind The Trial of Louise Woodward, which will tell the story of one of the most high-profile US court cases ever to feature a British defendant – playing out on TV screens across both sides of the Atlantic.
Woodward was a 19-year-old British au-pair accused of the involuntary manslaughter of nine-month-old baby Matthew Eappen by shaking him to death while he was in her care. She was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years but was freed on appeal after less than 12 months.
Examining whether advances in medical science since the 1997 trial might have changed the verdict in this case, the film will also bring revealing insights from the experts for the prosecution and defence who ferociously disagreed about key facts at the time.
ITV controller of current affairs Tom Giles ordered the feature, which is being exec produced by Voltage’s Sanjay Singhal.
“Like millions of others, I remember being gripped by the daily twists and turns of the extraordinary court case as it was headline news every night,” said Singhal.
“I’d like to try to show what it must have been like to go through that for both sides: a young British woman at the centre of a legal storm – and the bereaved parents who felt that justice was not done because of a scientific argument that continues to this day.”
Last month, ITV co-commissioned The Missing Children, a doc that looks into the deaths of 9,000 children who have died in Irish institutions over past decades. UK producers True Vision and Nevision are attached to the doc, which is also for Ireland’s RTE and North American streamer Topic.