BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Programmes: Breakfast  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Breakfast Monday, 14 April, 2003, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Mary Bell case
Author Gitta Sereny and Sharon Richardson, interviewed live on Breakfast
Sereny had never before been interviewed with the family
The author Gitta Sereny has apologised to for the hurt caused by a controversial book which she wrote six years ago, on the child-killer Mary Bell.

Her unexpected on-air apology came during a live interview on Breakfast, which found her sitting side by side with the sister of one of Mary Bell's victims.

The Mary Bell case has caused controversy for the past 35 years. Mary Bell was 11 years old when she was convicted of the manslaughter of two toddlers in 1968.

She was released on licence in 1980 and made a new life for herself. Because she has a child, she has been living under the cloak of legal anonymity. The current court case will decide whether that anonymity should continue when her child reaches 19.

To discuss the case, Breakfast brought together Gitta Sereny, who worked with Mary Bell to write a book on the killings - and Sharon Richardson, whose brother was one of Mary Bell's victims.

Gitta Sereny's book, Cries Unheard, was heaviliy criticised by the Richardsons, for dragging up the case after so many years.
Gitta Sereny's book
Sereny apologised for the pain caused by her book

"The only benefit is that I felt that if people get any understanding of why such terrible deeds occur, that's the only chance we have of perhaps stopping one of them. And I am very sorry that I caused such pain to this family."

Sharon Richardson believes that what happened to her brother has been particularly hard to bear because she has never been offered help from organisations such as victim support.

While she can accept that her crimes were committed as a child, she is still angry that - as an adult - Mary Bell decided to bring them back into the public spotlight.

"I have read the book," Sharon told us "and it's not educational. All it tells you is that a if girl can kill two young children she can go on to make money and live a secret life."


 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Should Mary Bell remain anonymous?
Author Gitta Sereny and Sharon Richardson
Mary Bell case
Daniel Sandford reporting
Home
When we are on air
Recent forums
Programme archive
Studio tour
Today's information
MEET THE TEAM
Presenters
Reporters
YOUR SAY
Contact us
Your comments

 E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Breakfast stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes