Gunman Andrew Newton (pictured in 1976) is still alive, his friend has told MailOnline
The real-life story behind the BBC drama into the Jeremy Thorpe scandal has taken a new twist after a MailOnline investigation.
The three-part series which concludes on Sunday evening and stars Hugh Grant as Thorpe tells how a gunman shot a dog dead while attempting to murder Liberal leader Thorpe’s lover Norman Scott.
Police had said they believed the gunman Andrew Newton had died and an investigation of a police cover-up in the 1970’s was closed.
But detectives have re-opened the probe into the attack on former male model Norman Scott after MailOnline established that Newton is alive and living secretly under an alias in London.
Gwent police said they had believed that Newton had died although no death certificate had been located.
The matter is also the subject of a Panorama documentary on BBC Four on Sunday night.
But after MailOnline confirmed through two sources that Newton, who uses the alias Hann Redwin, was living in secret in London, police said they would be re-opening the probe.
Gwent police sources said despite previous enquiries leading them to believe Newton had passed away, new information had come to light that he was still living and his whereabouts were being sought.
The scandal surrounding Jeremy Thorpe (pictured) finished his political career and is the focus of a new BBC drama
Hugh Grant takes on the role of the Liberal leader in the drama, which is titled A Very English Scandal
‘We hope he can assist with the investigation’ said one Gwent Police source.
Former airline pilot Newton, 71, moved out of a £2million house in Chiswick, London, two years ago.
A neighbour who signed his mortgage papers as a witness said: ‘We all knew about his past.'
The man - who wishes to remain anonymous - added: ‘He was very popular with people in the street. He was very fond of going dancing and popular with the ladies.’
Newton has kept up his love for flying and was also seen at an airport in Reigate, Surrey, with his close friend Patricia Frankham.
She confirmed to MailOnline that police were mistaken and that Newton was alive, adding: 'It was all so long ago. He doesn’t want to say anything more. He says the truth will never come out. If it was, it would have at the trial (of Thorpe).’
The botched attempt to kill Norman Scott (pictured) ended in a dog being shot by Andrew Newton instead
Newton has decided never to speak about the shooting of the dog and who put him up to it.
Gwent Police set up Operation Velum to investigate new claims in 2016 that vital evidence had been suppressed before the trial – and turned to Scott for help believing Newton had died.
His death was even reported in newspapers, but Newton never came forward to discount the theory.
Police will now attempt to speak to Newton to try and establish whether he can throw any light on the cover up claims.
Police and secret service were said to have hidden vital evidence into the shooting of Scott’s dog. Scott managed to escape the gunman.
Former airline pilot Newton served two years in jail after being convicted of shooting dead a dog belonging to model Norman Scott - the homosexual lover of Thorpe, the former leader of the Liberal Party.
It was Newton's claim that he had been paid to kill Scott on the orders of Thorpe that led the politician and three other men being charged with conspiracy to murder in what was called the 'Trial of the Century'.
Thorpe and three others were found not guilty of conspiracy to murder at an Old Bailey trial in 1979.
Hugh Grant stars as Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, who was sensationally acquitted of conspiracy to murder at the Old Bailey
It can be revealed that the airline pilot is still flying and keeps his light aircraft on a farm in the Surrey area having moved it from