How BBC TV show Our Cops in the North shed light on Manor House fatal arson attack investigation as Declan Lancaster is sentenced

A murder inquiry launched after a fatal fire was at the centre of the final instalment in a documentary series on Northumbria Police.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 1:18 pm

The popular TV show followed detectives as they pieced together their investigation into a fatal fire which killed Patryk Mortimer, 39.

The blaze inside the building, which was being used as accommodation and was home to 11 people at the time, reached 1,000 degrees.

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Cops in the North, episode five, features Wildlife Officer Lee Davidson. Copyright 72 Films/BBC, photographer: Ryan McNamara.
Cops in the North, episode five, features Wildlife Officer Lee Davidson. Copyright 72 Films/BBC, photographer: Ryan McNamara.

Detective Superintendent John Bent, who has since moved to Cleveland Police, and his team work were shown on the TV show alongside forensic investigators trying to piece together what happened.

Lancaster was sentenced on July 2 to life in prison and will be unable to apply for a parole hearing for at least five years.

The programme’s makers said: “John Bent is proud of his record of solving all the murders he has investigated, but the odds were stacked against him on his latest case, a fire that resulted in one death but could have led to mass fatalities.

Detective Superintendent John Bent, then of Northumbria Police, outside Newcastle Crown Court as part of the BBC one documentary Our Cops in the North, which followed the work of his team as as they investigated the death of Patryk Mortimer in a blaze at the Manor House Care Home in Easington Lane. Photographer: Ryan McNamara

"The evidence has gone up in smoke, there is no CCTV footage, and community tensions mean witnesses aren’t coming forward.”

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The case features in episode five of the Our Cops in the North series.

Our Cops in the North follows Pc Mark Goodridge as he and other response officers head to incidents. Photo copyright 72 Films/BBC.

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Our Cops in the North follows the work of Sergeant Phil Hamlani as his team carries out a raid on a suspected drug dealer. Image copyright 72 Films/BBC.
Patryk Mortimer died in a blaze at the Manor House Care Home in Easington Lane in November 2018, with Detective Superintendent John Bent leading the investigation. Copyright BBC/72 Films.
Declan Lancaster is due to be sentenced for the manslaughter of Patryk Mortimer next month.
Officers inspecting the scene of the fire at the Manor House Care Home as part of the Our Cops in the North programme. Photograph copyright 72 Films/BBC.