Janet Leach's son: Fred West show upset family
THE eldest son of the Gloucester woman who became serial killer Fred West's closest confidant said he is upset with the way she has been depicted on TV.
The story of Janet Leach, who was appointed as the 'appropriate adult' to the House of Horror's murderer following his arrest in 1994, is the subject of the ITV factual based drama, which was broadcast on ITV1 on Sunday night.
The former trainee social worker and mother-of-five was shown to be a caring housewife who is picked to be the independent volunteer to sit in with 'vulnerable adults' during police interviews, in the first of the two-part show, which concludes this Sunday.
Paul Leach, eldest son of Janet, who also features in the programme, was watching along with an estimated 4.8million viewers across the UK.
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He said: "I believe the way she was portrayed is not like that at all.
"It was very upsetting – she didn't have any children living at home at the time, they lived with my father at the time."
Janet worked with ITV on the set, something which has proven traumatic for Paul.
"I don't think she should be bring all this up years later, it's not good for anyone," he claimed.
Not long after his 11th birthday, Paul was sent to live with his father, but shortly after was taken into care for five years.
Upon turning 16, Paul returned to live in the house with his mother and her partner.
Fred West grew close to Janet during the course of the investigation, eventually confiding in her that the bodies of nine women were buried under his house and garden.
Paul says this led to Fred repeatedly calling their family home following his arrest.
He says he got a chill when he first answered the phone and knew immediately who it was.
"I answered the phone to him quite a few times – I knew it was him and I felt sick to be honest. Why did he even have our home number?
"She was the only one who sat and listened to Fred West and I think she should have walked away from the case after he drew a map in her diary showing where nine bodies were buried in his garden," Paul added.
The 35-year-old, who grew up in Gloucester but now lives in Stroud, says he only found out that the drama was being made through the media a couple of years ago.
He said: "I've since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder – this whole case has made me ill."
ITV spokesman Natasha Bayford told The Citizen that Janet did not wish to comment at this time.