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29/03/2021 09:11 BST | Updated 11/04/2021 10:31 BST

Line Of Duty: Jimmy Lakewell's Voice Heard On Gail Vella Recording, Say Fans

AC-12's DS Steve Arnott couldn't seem to pinpoint the voice on the corrupt audio file – but many viewers think they've cracked it.

Some Line Of Duty fans have proved they’re worthy of a job with AC-12 after seemingly cracking part of the case in the latest episode. 

On Sunday night, viewers saw the anti-corruption inquiry into the conduct of DCI Joanne Davidson kick up a gear when Superintendent Hastings’ team reexamined the evidence in the Operation Lighthouse case. 

After discovering Gail Vella’s devices had been stolen and replaced with clean ones prior to the journalist’s murder, they recovered a corrupt audio file of her interviewing an unidentified man about police corruption. 

BBC
DS Arnott listened to a corrupt audio file of Gail Vella interviewing a man about police corruption

Vella’s former boss had revealed to AC-12 that she had been looking into the murder case of private detective Daniel Morgan (a real life figure who was murdered in 1987 after it was said he came close to exposing police corruption) and had also been approaching senior police officers about why there’d been a surpression of inquiries into the likes of Dale Roach (a character with links back to series three).  

Arnott was then seen reviewing the incomplete audio file of one of Vella’s interviews, and while he didn’t seem to be able to identify him, many fans suggested it was corrupt solicitor Jimmy Lakewell. 

Lakewell – played by former star of The Office, Patrick Baladi – featured in series four of Line Of Duty as founding partner of the criminal law firm Lakewell, Dean & Stevenson, and was a university friend of antagonist DCI Roz Huntley’s husband Nick. 

Lakewell was in league with organised crime and was part of a cover up in Operation Trapdoor, which looked into the kidnapping and murder of Baswinder Kaur, the disappearance of Leonie Collersdale and the attempted kidnapping of Hana Reznikova.

He was also responsible for instructing one of the “balaclava men” to intercept DS Arnott when he arrived at the Lakewell, Dean & Stevenson offices, which ended up with him being pushed down the stairs and sustaining injuries that have subsequently seen him develop an addiction to painkillers

At the end of series four, Lakewell pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice, but declined witness protection and refused to testify and was sent to prison. 

BBC
Jimmy Lakewell in Line Of Duty

It seems it’s highly likely that the voice heard in the recording is Lakewell’s, as one eagle-eyed viewer previously spotted that his photo is seen on an AC-12 suspect wall in upcoming scenes that originally featured in the series six trailer. 

The most recent episode of Line Of Duty also established other links to the show’s complicated past with the return of Ryan Pilkington

The OCG member is now a fully fledged police officer working alongside DI Kate Fleming on MIT, allowing him to carry on with the gang’s work from the inside, and there are already some questions about his conduct.  

Line Of Duty continues on Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.