Nottingham

Crimewatch actor in Julie Pacey murder 'named as killer'

Steve Watson
Image caption Actor Steve Watson, shown playing a part in a Crimewatch reconstruction of the murder of Julie Pacey, was identified by viewers

A Crimewatch actor, who played a suspect in a murder reconstruction 21 years ago, said he is "in limbo" after he was accused of being the killer.

Steve Watson, 53, appeared in the reconstruction of the 1994 murder of Julie Pacey, which was reshown on BBC One earlier this year.

Officers took his DNA after viewers told them he was the "killer" shown in the reconstruction.

The BBC has said it tried to contact Mr Watson before the show.

Julie Pacey, 38, was found dead in Grantham, Lincolnshire, but her killer has never been found.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption Julie Pacey was murdered in Grantham in 1994

Mr Watson, of Newark, Nottinghamshire, said he answered a BBC ad to play the part in 1994.

"[My face] was on the screen for too long and even then, people in the street said, 'Oh, is that that murderer?'" he said.

"To hear those words you think, 'Please, it's just a reconstruction, surely you understand', but unfortunately they don't."

The original Crimewatch appeal was aired again in July after advancements in DNA technology.

"A couple of people in Newark recognised me and put me forward as a suspect and I was on the end of having my DNA taken and all sorts," he said.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption Police issued an e-fit of the man they want to trace after the reconstruction was rebroadcast in July

Despite telling police he was the actor, he is yet to be told he is no longer a suspect.

"I'm in limbo, it's ridiculous," he said.

Det Insp Helen Evans, of Lincolnshire Police, said it would be "remiss not to thoroughly investigate every solid piece of information" and he will be given an update "in due course".

Mr Watson said Crimewatch "do a fantastic job" but actors should be warned they could be called on by the police.

A BBC spokesman said it tried to contact Mr Watson about re-airing the appeal but his details were not in their records.

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