22 April 2024

Jeremy Kyle guest felt life was ‘not worth living’ after appearing on show

22 April 2024

An inquest hearing into the death of Steve Dymond who died of an overdose after appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show has heard that he felt “life was not worth living” and had considered jumping out of the taxi on his way home.

Mr Dymond, from Portsmouth, Hampshire, is thought to have taken his own life seven days after filming for the ITV programme in May 2019.

He had taken a lie detector test for the show after being accused of cheating on his ex-fiancee Jane Callaghan, from Gosport.

Mr Dymond died of an overdose and heart problem at his home in Portsmouth, a previous preliminary hearing of the inquest was told in 2020.

Hampshire coroner Jason Pegg has previously ruled that Jeremy Kyle had called Mr Dymond a “serial liar” and said he “would not trust him with a chocolate button”.

Claire Overman, representing Mr Dymond’s brother, Leslie Dymond, and son, Carl Woolley, told the preliminary hearing at Winchester that Leslie Dymond said that his brother had told him that the audience had “booed and hissed” at him.

He had also had the results of the lie detector test “pushed right in his face”, she said.

Ms Overman said that the brother’s account also suggested that Mr Kyle had called him a “traitor and a failure” but video evidence showed that the host had not said this, but had called him a “serial liar”.

She added that Mr Dymond had told his brother that he was “incredibly stressed”, in tears and on the “point of collapsing”.

We will be reviewing Mr Dymond’s participation in the show as far as it is relevant to his mental state including the lie detector and the after-care provided and that involves the role of the production company and ITV

She added that his brother also said that Mr Dymond had told him that he was “completely broken” and was “consumed by what happened on the show” and had talked about considering “jumping out of the taxi on the way home”.

Ms Overman said that the brother also said that it was “like he had been brainwashed, he (Steve Dymond) said he was worthless and couldn’t go on living”.

Neil Sheldon KC, representing Mr Kyle, said that it was a “misleading and inaccurate account” based on hearsay and that footage from the show showed the reality of what had happened.

In submissions to the court about the admissibility of Leslie Dymond’s statement, Mr Kyle’s lawyers stated that Leslie Dymond had visited his cousin Gerald Brierley in early May 2019 and “speculated” over whether his brother’s experience on the Jeremy Kyle Show might have triggered his death.

They alleged that Mr Brierley had agreed to help Leslie Dymond with the preparation of his evidence, including the statement, in return for a share of any compensation obtained from ITV.

And the lawyers alleged that Mr Brierley later forwarded to solicitors a series of text messages from Leslie Dymond to his brother in the days before his death, which stated that Leslie did not want to speak to Steve and which told him to “Stop lying, change his ways and pull himself together”, prompting Steve Dymond to respond that he “won’t be missed”.

Mr Pegg said that Leslie Dymond had been ruled as medically unfit to attend the full inquest.

He said that he would accept his written statement as evidence but then make a decision on its reliability.

The coroner said that the scope of the inquest would cover Mr Dymond’s involvement with the ITV show but also his personal relationships.

He said: “It’s quite relevant there were other things going on in Mr Dymond’s life at the time of his passing.

“He had been on the Jeremy Kyle Show but I intend, and have always intended, that clearly the breakdown of Mr Dymond’s relationship with Jane Callaghan, which appeared to be the catalyst for going on the Jeremy Kyle Show, and interactions with others around him are relevant and fall in the scope of the inquest.”

Mr Pegg said: “This inquest must focus on the death of Steve Dymond, other matters or other systemic issues that may or may not have existed at the time in relation to other production companies or programmes on TV.

“The inquest will focus on the processes in place with regards to his selection, his attendance for filming and the after care in filming, the other systemic issues are not.”

Rachel Spearing, who has been appointed as counsel to the inquest, said that the coroner had ruled that the case would not be “a roving inquiry into practices of reality television”.

She said that the inquest would primarily look at the circumstances of Mr Dymond’s life between March 14 2019, and May 9 2019.

Ms Spearing said: “The scope will review the deceased’s interaction with his GP and his acceptance and participation in the Jeremy Kyle Show.

“We will be reviewing Mr Dymond’s participation in the show as far as it is relevant to his mental state including the lie detector and the after-care provided and that involves the role of the production company and ITV.”

She added that Mr Dymond’s history of mental health issues would also be examined.

Ms Spearing added that the inquest had been given access to footage from a Channel 4 documentary into Mr Dymond’s death.

The coroner previously made Mr Kyle an interested person to the inquest because “he may have caused or contributed” to Mr Dymond’s death.

Other interested persons named during the hearing were members of Mr Dymond’s family, ITV and Mr Dymond’s GP.

Mr Pegg said that the full inquest would be held from September 3 to 9 and it is understood that Mr Kyle is expected to attend to give evidence at the full hearing.

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