The TV writer has admitted to mistakenly believing that he’d stabbed a homeless man to death during a drunken night out.
Neil – who writes the hit crime drama starring Idris Elba – recalled: “I was very young, I was 16 or 17 and I was out of my head on rough cider in Bristol … we used to drink rough cider in gallon containers because it was 32p a pint.
“I was making my way back to my sister’s house and there was a shortcut and you could either walk round a very long road this huge sprawling council estate or you could take a shortcut through the woods, through [to] these concrete steps through the woods.
“I woke up with a very, very clear memory of coming across a homeless man asleep on the steps who I randomly stabbed to death.
“I woke up the next morning and there was no sense of it being a dream, I just remembered doing it. To the extent I lived in degrees of fear certainly for the next week.”
Neil explained that even though he never committed the act, he’s still haunted by the thought.
He told the Daily Mirror newspaper: “For years and years I genuinely find this difficult to talk about even now there is one percent of me which is troubled by the memory of it.
“When the internet was invented one of the first things I did, when I became aware of what search engines were, was search the old newspapers.”
But, he added: “I didn’t do it if anybody’s wondering.”