THE TEAM of detectives who spent almost two years helping to solve the Andrew Heath case have been honoured for their hard work.
Officers of all ranks from West Mercia Police won the Outstanding Leadership in an Investigation accolade at the first ever Excellence in Investigation Awards in Birmingham last Wednesday (January 29).
Daniel Martin was jailed for ten years last November after he pleaded guilty to Heath’s manslaughter following an arson attack on his home in Warndon in December 2011.
The team leading the investigation faced a number of challenges in tracking down Martin which led to appeals being made on BBC’s Crimewatch and West Mercia Police putting up a £20,000 reward for information.
Detective Superintendent Paul Williamson, senior investigating officer, said: “It was humbling to be nominated for, let alone win, the Investigator award and to receive recognition from fellow detectives.
“It was a difficult case to solve, but we managed it because of the dedication, perseverance and leadership of all our key team members, as well as the dozens of others from the force who contributed towards a successful outcome.”
As well as Det Supt Williamson, the team consisted of his deputy, Detective Inspector Neil Austin, Detective Sergeant Kate Stevens, Detective Constable Shelley Orr, DS Richard Bentley, DS Mark Morton and family liaison officers DS Alan Crossley and DC Julie Slater.
Launched by the Investigator magazine last year, the awards included four categories – best cold case, outstanding leadership in an investigation, innovation in forensics and best major crime.
A panel led by Alan Webster the former head of investigative training at West Midlands Police sifted through hundreds of entries to choose the winners.
Carol Jenkins, editor of The Investigator magazine paid tribute to the winners. “All of our winners demonstrated true determination, dedication and doggedness in going beyond the call of duty to help solve these crimes and provide justice for victims and witnesses.
“They are all very worthy winners and I’d like to congratulate them all.”