The family of a man who died after appearing on the Jeremy Kyle Show has expressed concern over a lie detector test he took during the programme and the level of support he was given afterwards.
Relatives of Steve Dymond, 63, also suggested at a pre-inquest hearing that footage they had been provided with of the show may have been “polished and edited”.
Dymond, 63, took a lie detector test during the show on 2 May last year in an attempt to convince his fiancee, Jane Callaghan, that he had not been cheating on her. Afterwards, he expressed concern about the possible repercussions of his appearance and rumours that swirled around him. He was found dead at his rented flat in Portsmouth on 9 May.
The hearing at the city’s coroner’s court was told that the cause of Dymond’s death was a morphine overdose and heart condition.
Kyle’s ITV show was axed amid growing scrutiny of the duty of care owed to participants in reality TV shows, and the episode featuring Dymond was not aired.
Lawyers for the family provided written submissions to the Hampshire coroner, Jason Pegg, at the hearing on Friday. Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, on behalf of Dymond’s family, said there might be criticism of the person who conducted the polygraph test and called for him to be made an interested party, meaning he would have the right to actively participate in the full inquest.
Gallagher told the hearing that the family also wished to learn more about the assessment of participants in the show, the safeguards in place, and the aftercare.
She raised concerns over the footage to which the family had been given access, saying: “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.”
At a previous hearing, Gallagher described Dymond as “exceptionally vulnerable” and said he had stopped taking prescribed antidepressants in order to take the polygraph test.
She claimed that only 72 hours elapsed between the suggestion of Dymond appearing on the show and the filming, which she said was a “very short” period.
After the recording, Dymond was “put in a homeward-bound taxi within two hours of telling a researcher that he was really upset and that ‘life was nothing without Jane’,” Gallagher alleged.
A further pre-inquest review has been scheduled for 29 and 30 October.