THE harrowing tale of how a young Huddersfield woman became a murder victim goes out on TV tomorrow.
The murder of five young prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006 left the whole country in a state of shock. One of them was Anneli Alderton - a former Huddersfield vice girl, who had moved south to be with her family.
She and the four other victims were snatched by “Suffolk Strangler” Steven Wright and their bodies dumped.
The five women quickly became dehumanised victims in the tale of a monstrous serial killer.
Now the story of those victims and their families is to be told in a three-part BBC drama, which stars Sarah Lancashire.
Five Daughters charts the last days of Anneli, Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell - and the grief suffered by their families.
The decision to make the films initially provoked outrage but the production team insisted the story simply had to be told.
Anneli, the mother of a young son, had lived in Primrose Hill and in Marsden before moving to Suffolk.
Now her mum Maire has told of the torment the family suffered, not only through the murders but also in the years leading up to it.
She had never given up trying to wean her daughter off drugs and off the streets.
“I’ve dragged her off the streets, she’s kicked and hit me.
“I kept having to move, the neighbours were complaining. She was in and out of prison, she always got caught, which was a relief.
“At least I knew where she was. She’d come off drugs in prison and I’d write to her every single day, just saying how wonderful the world is.
“She always knew she would come home. Turn up with a bunch of flowers from someone else’s garden”.
Maire told of how she feared for Anneli when the first murder was committed.
“The girls did look out for each other. They were like kids at the same college, really. Kids who did some hideous things but the thing about addiction is that it reduces all the problems of life to just one problem. How to get more”.
Actress Jaime Winstone, daughter of Hollywood star Ray, plays 24-year-old Alderton .
For her the mission was not to dredge up tragedy, but to give faces, stories and dignity to the five daughters and their families.
“They were real young women - they had aspirations and were going to go on and be young, beautiful women,” says the actress.
“It was a huge responsibility: You’re kind of living someone’s last moment and trying to do it justice - but also trying to keep it true and be real to the girls and their families.”
While some of the victims’ relatives were quoted as being “angry and disgusted” at the BBC for dramatising events, many others cooperated as paid script consultants and, producers say, are “proud” of what Five Daughters achieves.
The first episode opens with journalists hectoring detectives in a police press conference, and there’s a clear intention to redress what some saw as insensitive tabloid coverage.
Winstone says it was “arrogant” of the media to label the women as prostitutes.
“It’s the easy route to dismiss them and go, ’Oh, these girls broke the law, they were drug addicts, why should we be concerned?” she says.
“But actually these girls had lives. It was just ignorance; it made me very angry. They were blissfully unaware of what sort of dangers they were in.
“These were young women; they were daughters of people. That’s why I wanted to keep detached from the press side of it. I just wanted to keep it about Anneli and be truthful to it.”
But Winstone admits the role of Anneli was a great one.
“There are moments where you selfishly think, ‘it’s a great part for an actress to be given that material’,” confesses the 24-year-old.
“The first time I read the script I was powerfully moved but also thought, ‘Can I do this? Is it right to do this?’
“One of the hardest scenes was when Anneli was dead and I could actually just hear the mum’s cries. That to me was just like, ‘I don’t want to do it any more. I’m actually doing damage’.
“You feel really upset and a bit twisted – but then you realise you’re doing some sort of justice and that’s why you’re doing it in the first place.”
Many will remember the haunting CCTV footage, released by police, of Alderton on a train shortly before she was killed.
It was a sight that stuck with Winstone, who says recreating those moments brought Alderton’s tragedy crashing home to her.
“That last CCTV footage had a really big impact on a lot of people and I just burst into tears,” she says.
“It was hard to let it go. I’d go home , be quite upset about it. It was weird territory.”