Produced and broadcast by the BBC in 1994


Written by Vincent O’Connell

Directed by Corinne Campbell-Hill

Produced by Hilary Salmon

Starring Paul Popplewell, David Bradley, Nicky Evans, Lynda Rooke.


The second full-length film of Vincent’s to be made by the BBC, it won Best Single Drama at the Royal Television Society awards, it tells the true story of 17 year-old Simon Willerton, a small time crook who ended up committing suicide on remand in an adult prison. A powerful and poetic account of the tragic descent of an odd but brilliant outsider as he falls through all the social safety nets.



You can watch the film here thanks to Paul Popplewell’s original archiving and Colin McKeown’s reworking of the files.



3 Comments Criminal

  1. Maria Fletcher

    Hi Vincent,

    I just watched your compelling film, and was moved beyond words.

    “`The lived truth of thirty years ago seems timeless in the way the brutality is portrayed, and there is an ‘other’ to the style of filming which many filmmakers today could learn so much from.

    `I’d like to thank you, but that doesn’t seem quite right – but thank you for your commitment to these voices and lives, in film and script.

  2. Peter Thompson

    I just watched the drama. Very poignant. Really sad that this kind hearted lad was taken for granted and brutalised by the system.


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