Appropriate Adult returns to ITV in September 2020 but just what happened to Janet Leach and just what is an appropriate adult?

After ITV brought the chilling drama, Des, to our screens on September 14th, the channel is continuing its serial killer fest with Appropriate Adult.

The two-part drama, which first aired in 2011, focuses on the serial killers Fred and Rose West.

However, arguably the chief character in the ITV drama is Janet Leach (Emily Watson of Chernobyl) who is given the titular role of the appropriate adult in the drama.

But what happened to Janet Leach after the events of the ITV drama and just what is an appropriate adult?

Potential spoilers ahead for episode 2 of Appropriate Adult.

Appropriate Adult on ITV

Appropriate Adult returned to ITV on September 22nd, 2020.

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The two-part drama, shown over two nights, tells the story of the notorious serial killers, Fred and Rose West, who between them killed at least 12 girls and young women between 1967 and 1987.

While Appropriate Adult may centre on the case of the Wests, the main focus of the series is actually the titular appropriate adult, Janet Leach, who is brought in to assist in Fred West’s interviews with police.


What is an appropriate adult?

An appropriate adult is an individual who is brought in by police to assist with interviewing children or vulnerable adults.

As Fred West was almost totally illiterate and could barely read or write, Janet Leach was brought in to assist West through the investigation and interview process.

As we see in the Appropriate Adult drama, Janet Leach was bound by confidentiality rules from sharing any of the incriminating information that Fred West passed onto her privately.


What happened to Janet Leach?

Janet Leach’s part in Fred and Rose West’s case as an appropriate adult came to an end when the pair were jointly charged with nine murders.

However, before the trial, Fred West committed suicide in his police cell so it was just Rose West who went on trial in October 1995 and Janet Leach was one of several witnesses who testified.

Away from the Wests’ case, Janet Leach’s life had been one of repeated tragedy.

Prior to the events of Appropriate Adult, she had just divorced from her first husband, Barry Leach, with whom she had four sons according to The Sun.

During the events of Appropriate Adult, Janet is seen to be in a relationship with a partner named Mike but in 1999, he reportedly died from a heart condition.


By 2010, Janet had remarried to a retired lorry driver, and lived in the suburbs of Gloucester, working as a health professional.

However, in 2011, the Daily Mail reported that Janet’s new husband had passed away, supposedly leaving her heartbroken.

According to The Sun, Leach has said that she will be “haunted forever” by what West told her and that the experience “destroyed” her.

Controversy surrounded Janet Leach after she sold her story to the Mirror for a reported £100,000 and when she later tried to sue police, claiming she had suffered PTSD her claims were thrown out of court on a legal technicality.

Appropriate Adult concludes on ITV on September 23rd while episode 1 of the two-part drama is available to stream now on ITV Hub.

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