Anger over TV inquiry

A Rough Justice TV programme due to be screened on Thursday into the murder of Rachel Manning has incurred the wrath of police chiefs and Rachel's family.

The city teenager was killed three years ago and her boyfriend, Barri White, is serving a life sentence. His friend, Keith Hyatt, was found guilty of helping to dispose of the body in Woburn Woods.

The Rough Justice crew claim they have unearthed vital new evidence to show White and his accomplice, Keith Hyatt, are

innocent.

But Rachel's father, Paul Manning – who declined to take part in the programme – has

accused them of being insensitive and uncaring to thefamily's wishes.

The parents of murdered teenager Rachel Manning feel they have been victims of rough justice themselves – from the makers of the TV programme of that name.

For the BBC Rough Justice crew, in striving to free Rachel's convicted killer, have been "insensitive and uncaring" to her grieving family, said her father, Paul Manning, this week.

The crew has also upset local police and this week prompted a complaint from the chief constable to the BBC Director General.

The programme makers ignored for 18 months the family's requests to be informed of any new evidence the programme has unearthed – evidence that could lead to an appeal for Rachel's boyfriend Barri White and his accomplice Keith Hyatt.

"When I sit down to watch the Rough Justice programme this Thursday I will have virtually no more idea than a total stranger about how they are saying my own daughter was killed and who killed her," said Paul.

He has complained to BBC bosses about the tactics used by Rough Justice investigator Mark Daly, the journalist who won awards for exposing police racism in his 'Secret Policeman' documentary. All his letters have been ignored.

Last week, following a request from Paul Manning for a pre-programme summary, the BBC finally sent an e-mail giving brief details.

"It was very vague and did not tell me much at all that I did not already know," said Paul.

He and his wife Liz, who are separated, were both

approached 18 months ago by Mark Daly to take part in the programme. Both declined

because they were 'satisfied" justice had been done by the police investigation and subsequent convictions.

"Mr Daly was very persuasive but, apart from repeatedly using the phrase police incompetence and hinting at new witnesses and forensic evidence, he would not give many details of the investigation," said Paul.

"I fully understand the need for investigative journalism but I got the impression Mr Daly cared more about furthering his career as an anti police journalist than he did about our feelings and our daughter."

Now Paul, Liz and the rest of Rachel's family and friends are steeling themselves for tonight's programme.

"It is going to be painful, of course it is, and it will open up all the old wounds. But we will cope because we survived, in a fashion, after Rachel's death and nothing in the world can ever be as painful as that," said Paul, who sat through the five week murder trial three years ago.