Jeremy Kyle guest Steve Dymond was “extremely distressed” by his experience filming for the ITV show, according to documents released by his family’s lawyers.
A pre-inquest review has heard that the 63-year-old died of a morphine overdose and a heart problem at his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire, seven days after he had filmed for the daytime show.
He had undergone a lie detector test for the programme to show whether he had cheated on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan, from Gosport.
There were plainly reasonable measures which could have been taken which may have altered the tragic outcome in May 2019Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC
In submissions from Mr Dymond’s family, their counsel Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC states: “The lie detector test ‘result’ indicated that he was lying when he said he was faithful to his girlfriend, despite him being adamant that he had been faithful.
“Mr Dymond was extremely distressed by his experience at The Jeremy Kyle Show, a programme which has been described by a judge (when sentencing a former contestant) as ‘human bear-baiting’.”
The family also raise the role of Guy Heseltine and his firm UK Lie Test – contracted by ITV – for his role in the filming.
Ms Gallagher states: “In addition, without a detailed understanding of the arrangements made by The Jeremy Kyle Show and individuals working for, or with, the programme to protect the interests of vulnerable guests, it is unclear the extent to which certain aspects of Mr Dymond’s experience were aberrations, or the result of established policies or practices.”
She continues: “From the documents and information that have so far been disclosed to the family, it appears that Mr Heseltine may be subjected to criticism for his actions in the period prior to Mr Dymond’s death.”
Ms Gallagher also questions whether the video footage disclosed by ITV has been “polished” and states: “The family has concerns that the footage is polished and edited, and does not represent the totality of the footage that would have been recorded on all cameras on the day.”
The legal submissions also state that Mr Dymond suffered suicidal thoughts in the seven weeks prior to his death and state there are concerns over his care by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust after his GP had stated his case was “urgent”.
Ms Gallager states: “Mr Dymond was clearly seeking help and, had there been ‘adequate diligence’ in responding to him, there were plainly reasonable measures which could have been taken which may have altered the tragic outcome in May 2019.”
Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg told Friday’s pre-inquest review hearing that the cause of Mr Dymond’s death was a morphine overdose and left ventricular hypertrophy which is when the left chamber of the heart is not pumping properly.
But Mr Pegg, who held the case via videolink, was forced to abandon the hearing because of technical difficulties which left Ms Callaghan and Mr Dymond’s cousin Gerald Brierley, and members of the media unable to hear proceedings.
Mr Pegg said: “It’s inappropriate to continue, it is necessary for the pre-inquest review to be heard in public and when people dialling in cannot hear proceedings in full, it’s not a public hearing.”
It had been expected that the hearing would organise a date and scope for the full inquest but instead the case was adjourned for a further review hearing on October 29 or 30.
The Jeremy Kyle Show was axed amid growing scrutiny of the duty of care that reality TV shows have to participants following the death of Mr Dymond and former Love Island contestants Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis.
Media watchdog Ofcom is currently revising and expanding a proposed set of rules to protect the welfare of participants on TV and radio shows.