The television presenter Jeremy Kyle called a guest on his show who is believed to have killed himself seven days later a “serial liar” and said he “would not trust him with a chocolate button”, it has emerged.
Kyle also asked: “Has anyone got a shovel?” during the programme featuring Steve Dymond, 63, who was found dead a week after the recording of The Jeremy Kyle Show in May 2019.
The Hampshire coroner, Jason Pegg, laid out the remarks made by Kyle in a ruling setting out why he believed Kyle “may have caused or contributed” to Dymond’s death.
Dymond was found at his home in Portsmouth, Hampshire, after “failing” a lie detector test taken as part of the programme designed to try to ascertain whether he had cheated on his ex-fiancee, Jane Callaghan.
Pegg stated in his ruling, which was made in July but only released now, that he had viewed the episode featuring Dymond.
The coroner said: “In that footage it is apparent that Jeremy Kyle was aware that the deceased had previously been unable to appear on The Jeremy Kyle Show having been diagnosed with depression, for which the deceased had been prescribed anti-depressant medication.
“After the lie detector results the deceased looked visibly upset. Jeremy Kyle adopted an approach where he called the deceased a ‘serial liar’; that he ‘would not trust him with a chocolate button’; and made a comment: ‘Has anyone got a shovel?”’
The ruling quoted Dymond’s son, Carl Woolley, who said his father “had been humiliated, taken for a mug and pounced on” by Kyle. Woolley also said his father told him day after the filming that he had “been made out to be the baddy and that Jeremy Kyle was constantly on him. He felt embarrassed and made to feel like nothing.”
Also quoted in the ruling is Dymond’s brother, Leslie Dymond, who said his brother had phoned him from a taxi after the filming of the episode. “During that conversation, the deceased told his brother: ‘He had endured a terrible time and could not go on living,’” the coroner said.
“In subsequent conversations Leslie Dymond recalls his brother stating: ‘Jeremy Kyle had been in his face and followed when he left the stage … He was jeered and called a failure by the presenter.”’
Pegg concluded: “I am satisfied that the evidence potentially goes beyond mere criticism of Jeremy Kyle and that acts or omissions of Jeremy Kyle may have caused or contributed to the death of Stephen Dymond, the deceased.”
He said he deemed Kyle an “interested party” – someone who has the right to actively participate in an inquest.
Counsel for Dymond’s family, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, told a pre-inquest hearing in Winchester last week: “The inquest must consider how he came to be on the show in the first place considering his pre-show assessment, and it was known he had been on anti-depressant medication and had stopped it to go on the show.”
She claimed Kyle had been given briefing notes about Dymond’s situation and had made reference during the show to him stopping his medication.
A full inquest is set to be held in the summer of 2021.
In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.