Michelle Fairley, Tom Burke, Billy Barratt to star in BBC Two’s Responsible Child
Staff Reporter | On 04, Nov 2019Reading time: 2 mins
Michelle Fairley, Tom Burke and Billy Barratt will star in Responsible Child, a BBC Two drama about England’s minimum age of criminal responsibility.
Based on real events, the 90-minute drama tells the story of Ray, a 12-year-old boy on trial for murder. 12-year-old Billy Barratt (Blinded By The Light, The White Princess) takes the titular role and is joined by Fairley (Game Of Thrones, Suits), Burke (The Souvenir, Strike) and Stephen Campbell Moore (The History Boys, The Last Post). Also starring is Owen McDonnell (Killing Eve), Shaun Dingwall (Noughts and Crosses, Topboy), Debbie Honeywood (Sorry We Missed You, Vera), Angela Wynter (Le Miserables) and James Tarpey (Our Robot Overlords).
Told in two time frames, Responsible Child follows both the events that led up to the murder and the unfolding drama of the trial.
Ray (Barratt) and his 23-year-old brother Nathan (Tarpey) are arrested after stabbing their mother’s partner. Whatever the circumstances that have led a child to kill, the law is clear: the age of criminal responsibility is 10, and at 12 years-old, Ray must stand trial in adult court.
Written by Sean Buckley (Skins), Responsible Child takes us inside a young boy’s experience of the legal system, asking powerful questions about responsibility and redemption. Responsible Child is directed by Bafta award-winning documentary maker Nick Holt (Between Life And Death, The Murder Trial), who makes his drama directorial debut. Elinor Day (Killing Eve) produces, with Karen Wilson (Deep Water, Utopia) and Katie McAleese (The Living And The Dead) serving as Executive Producers for Kudos, Lucy Richer and Ayela Butt for the BBC and Mark Raphael for 72 Films.
Nick Holt, Director, says: “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.”
Commissioned by Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, and Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, the drama will air on BBC Two later this year.