1. ITV Report

Meredith Kercher's father publishes book

Meredith Kercher Photo: ITV Yorkshire

A book by the father of murdered Leeds University student Meredith Kercher about the killing that robbed him of his young daughter hits the shelves this month.

Entitled Meredith: Our Daughter's Murder and the Heartbreaking Quest for the Truth, John Kercher's account of his loss comes six months after Amanda Knox walked free from prison in Italy, acquitted of the crime.

Available from April 26, it gives the 21-year-old's father the chance to tell his story at least six months before American Knox, from Seattle, tells hers.

Meredith Kercher was found dead in November 2007 in her bedroom in ItalyThe 304-page work is billed as "a father's story of losing a beloved daughter, and the first account of the torment the family have suffered and their ongoing quest for justice".

In it, he describes the moment he learnt that the young woman whose death in the Italian university town had been widely reported was his daughter.

"I hadn't been able to get through to Meredith on her mobile, which was very unusual, but I tried to keep calm by telling myself the victim couldn't possibly be Meredith," he wrote.

"The call eventually came from the foreign desk of the Mirror newspaper, from a young girl I hadn't spoken to before. That call ended my world as I knew it...

"I shall never forget her words. 'The name going round Italy is Meredith.' I dropped the phone. I didn't believe it. Not my beautiful Meredith."

Although Miss Kercher's family have spoken out previously, they have given few media interviews and kept a far lower profile than Knox's family as they struggled with their grief.

Amanda Knox was acquitted of Meredith Kercher's murder last year. Mr Kercher, a writer and journalist, did not attend the medieval courtroom where Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were finally acquitted of the murder in October, although other Kercher family members were present.

The Leeds University exchange student was found dead on November2, 2007 in her bedroom at the house in the Umbrian hilltop town she shared with Knox and others.

Her throat had been slit and her semi-naked body was partially covered by a duvet.

Knox, also studying in the town, was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment and Sollecito to 25, but both strenuously protested their innocence from behind bars and were acquitted on appeal.