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Channel 4 drama Deceit about investigation into Rachel Nickell’s murder gets first trailer

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Deceit FIRST LOOK: Niamh Algar stars as an undercover officer being used as bait for a suspected killer after Rachel Nickell’s murder in Channel 4 drama

The first trailer for new Channel 4 drama Deceit was released on Thursday.

Deceit follows the investigation into the killing of Rachel Nickell, which saw an undercover officer known by the codename Lizzie James be used as bait to catch an innocent man, Colin Stagg.

Opening with Lizzie (played by Irish actress Niamh Algar), the scene is set as a news reporter announces: ‘The brutal murder of Rachel Nickell has shocked the nation.’

Tense: Niamh Algar (pictured) is an undercover officer being used as bait for a suspected killer after Rachel Nickell's murder in trailer for Channel 4 drama Deceit, released on Thursday

Deceit FIRST LOOK: Niamh Algar stars as an undercover officer being used as bait for a suspected killer after Rachel Nickell’s murder in Channel 4 drama

Lizzie is then seen with Detective Inspector Keith Pedder (Harry Treadaway), who shows her an image of Colin next to a police sketch.

He tells her: ‘We put that into Crimewatch and half the estate called in to name him. We need a very special covert officer.’

And Lizzie’s role was to be a honeytrap, by befriending the main suspect to entice him into a ‘confession’.

For five months, Lizzie, called and wrote to the innocent loner Stagg, even dangling the possibility of sex as bait. 

Innocent: Deceit follows an undercover officer known by the codename Lizzie James be used as bait to catch an innocent man, Colin Stagg (Sion Daniel Young, pictured)

Innocent: Deceit follows an undercover officer known by the codename Lizzie James be used as bait to catch an innocent man, Colin Stagg (Sion Daniel Young, pictured)

And it appears the investigation takes its toll on Lizzie as she’s seen looking fearful as her relationship with Stagg continues to grow.

Her confidant Baz (Nathaniel Martello-White) warns her: ‘If they’re right about this man, he’s going to kill again.’

And it’s clear the investigation begins to take a toll on Lizzie as one scene shows her crying as she admits ‘I can’t crack him.’

Drama: Lizzie's role was to be a honeytrap, by befriending the main suspect to entice him into a 'confession', and for five months she called and wrote to innocent loner Stagg

Drama: Lizzie’s role was to be a honeytrap, by befriending the main suspect to entice him into a ‘confession’, and for five months she called and wrote to innocent loner Stagg

Despite her fears the police are clearly determined to continue pursuing the case as they tell her she’s ‘so close’ to catching him.  

There was never any evidence linking Mr Stagg to the murder of Ms Nickell, who was stabbed 49 times in front of her young son on Wimbledon Common in July 1992 at the age of 23. 

Yet he was still charged and spent a year on remand before the case collapsed in 1994 when a judge ruled the police evidence inadmissible and described the honeytrap operation as ‘reprehensible’. 

Lizzie paid a heavy price for her involvement, in 1998, she took early retirement aged 33, and three years later was awarded £125,000 compensation after claiming the Met failed to adequately support her.

Crime: There was never any evidence linking Mr Stagg to the murder of Ms Nickell, who was stabbed 49 times in front of her young son on Wimbledon Common in July 1992 aged 23

Crime: There was never any evidence linking Mr Stagg to the murder of Ms Nickell, who was stabbed 49 times in front of her young son on Wimbledon Common in July 1992 aged 23

In 2008, Robert Napper was finally convicted of the manslaughter of Ms Nickell.

Channel 4 has said the script draws on previously unheard audio, video and written material from the bungled inquiry.

And it was also revealed the drama will ‘examine the complicated and toxic sexual politics of the early 1990s and the police’s obsession with the wrong man’. 

Deceit has yet to be given a release date, but it will air on Channel 4 and be available on 4OD. 

True story: Lizzie paid a heavy price for her involvement, in 1998, she took early retirement aged 33, and three years later was awarded £125,000 compensation from the Met police

True story: Lizzie paid a heavy price for her involvement, in 1998, she took early retirement aged 33, and three years later was awarded £125,000 compensation from the Met police

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