Pages

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Homeowner reveals Suzy Lamplugh police searched suspect's mother's garden FIFTEEN years ago but didn't pull up patio despite tip-off body was under it - as they begin dig in a DIFFERENT part of the garden

  • Suzy Lamplugh, 25, vanished while showing man called 'Mr Kipper' around Fulham house in 1986 
  • Prime suspect John Cannan is serving 35 years for a different murder but was never charged with killing Suzy
  • In 1994 Miss Lamplugh was declared dead presumed murdered, but her remains were never found 
  • In 2002 a prisoner told police he understood that the estate agent was buried under patio in Sutton Coldfield
  • Officers then searched garden of Cannan's mother's former home in 2003 but did not find her body
  • New tip-off claims killer may have dumped her in mechanic's pit in the garage and filled it in with concrete
  • Current owner Phillip Carey, 53, said: 'If it puts someone at rest - that's a good ending to this story'
  • Suzy's parents died not knowing what happened to their daughter but set up a charity in her name
Police digging for the body of murdered estate agent Suzy Lamplugh in the prime suspect's mother's former garden spent six months searching there 15 years ago, it was revealed today.
Miss Lamplugh, 25, disappeared in 1986 after showing a 'Mr Kipper' around a house in Fulham, west London - and detectives believe convicted killer John Cannan is responsible for one of Britain's most infamous unsolved murders. 
Cannan, who was interviewed three times in jail, is currently serving 35 years for the murder of Shirley Banks in 1987 but Suzy's missing body means he has never faced trial. 
Today officers including experts who helped search for Madeleine McCann in Portugal are using specialist equipment to scan and dig up concrete at his mother Sheila's former home in Sutton Coldfield - but the Met will not say what prompted the new excavation work. 
The extraordinary development came 15 years after police first named Cannan as their 'only suspect' and a prisoner serving with Cannan then told police he heard Suzy was buried under the patio the suspect laid there while wearing a blood-spattered coat.
In 1992 the suburban property was sold to Phillip Carey, 52, and today he revealed officers were searching his garden from November 2003 to the spring of 2004 but only concentrated on an area by the back door.
He said: 'They knew what they were looking for. It was just patio they were looking at'.
Cold case detectives returned a few months ago asking for access again and the search now centres on the garage at the rear of the garden amid claims Suzy's body may have been dumped in a car-inspection pit and filled with concrete.
Mr Carey said: 'We know they're digging for a body. It was a mechanic's inspection pit which had been filled in with concrete before we moved in'.
Estate agent Miss Lamplugh, 25, (pictured) disappeared in 1986, having left her west London offices to meet a mystery client known only as Mr KipperJohn Cannan, pictured, who is suspected of killing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, has always denied involvement
Estate agent Miss Lamplugh, 25, (pictured) disappeared in 1986, having left her west London offices to meet a mystery client known only as Mr Kipper, who police believe is convicted killer John Cannan (right)
Police have been busy searching the old iron corrugated garage at John Cannan's mother Sheila's former home
Specialist officers are scanning the concrete for any signs of Suzy's remains and hopefully solve the notorious crimes
A police officer pulls away a waterproof cover from the area around the garage that police fear Suzy's body may have been for decades
A police officer pulls away a waterproof cover from the area around the garage that police fear Suzy's body may have been for decades
Police have sealed off the home where Cannan's mother lived until 1992 - and it is known her killer son had returned here after several of his crimes
A forensics tent has been put up in the back garden amid claims she may have been covered in concrete and appearing to be digging today
A forensics tent has been put up in the back garden amid claims she may have been covered in concrete and appearing to be digging today
The current owners of the house have allowed the Met to tear down the garage where John Cannan worked on his cars 
The current owners of the house have allowed the Met to tear down the garage where John Cannan worked on his cars 
Mr Carey, who works in marketing for an insurance company, said: 'The police were looking at a corrugated iron shed at the back of the garden.
'They've pulled it down and I think they're going to start digging it up in case they find anything underneath it.
'If nothing is found then we go on as normal but if it goes the other way and they find her remains then at least someone has got a final end to this horrendous story. 
'We just used to keep gardening stuff in it and a sprinkler for the garden.
'My kids used to play there and we had a trampoline in the garden next to the shed.
'We just have to wait until the police conclude their search. We're all up in the air at the moment'.
He added: 'We have been here very happily for 26 years. If they find the body would we move? That is the million dollar question we really don't know - we have talked about it but from our point of view we are happy here'.
Mr Carey, who has a son Alex, 13, and daughter Amy, 15, said police first contacted him in 2003 when they considered digging up their patio.
He said: 'They had looked at the patio in 2003 and it was discounted at that moment, it's directly outside the backdoor.
'They traced when the patio stones were bought, who they were bought from and this is ten years afterwards.
'I could not tell you if the shed was investigated by police in 2003.
'When the police turned up again a few months ago it was a bit of a surprise but obviously knowing the back story it was just a matter of going through the process either to bring the story to a conclusion, or eliminating us from the process'.
Detective superintendent Jim Dickie, who led the investigation to find Suzy Lamplugh's body, today defended the decision not to dig up the garden of prime suspect John Cannan's mother.
He received a tip-off from a Sunday newspaper in 2002 that Cannan may have buried her body under the patio.
DSI Dickie was also handed prison letters by the newspaper from Cannan where he claimed he had blood on his coat when he laid his mother's garden patio in 1987, a year after Suzy vanished.
But despite spending six months searching the property at the end of 2003, Dickie today told MailOnline: 'In 2003 we certainly didn't dig up the back garden.
'We would have searched the house where Cannan's mother lived anyway because of his prolific offending record and the fact that he spent a significant period living there.
'But we didn't dig up the garden because we didn't have any specific information back then that she may be buried there.'  
Detective superintendent Jim Dickie, Pictured., who led the investigation to find Suzy Lamplugh̢۪s body, today defended the decision not to dig up the gardenCurrent home owner Phillip Carey who bought the house off Sheila Cannan in 1992 and confirmed police had searched the garden in 2003 but found nothing
Current home owner Phillip Carey (left) who bought the house off Sheila Cannan in 1992 and confirmed police had searched the garden in 2003 but found nothing. Detective superintendent Jim Dickie (right) , who led the investigation to find Suzy Lamplugh's body, today defended the decision not to dig up the garden 15 years ago
In 2003 and 2004 police concentrated on this area of paving by the back door but ruled out Suzy could be under it - they are now looking at concrete and paving right at the rear of the property
Trucks and a skip are in the alleyway to take away the rubble from the patio and garage as they scan and dig for evidence
A grid system rests at the rear of the property and equipment is being used to scan the ground for human remains with a skip there to take items away
A grid system rests at the rear of the property and equipment is being used to scan the ground for human remains with a skip there to take items awayt

Detective who led search for Suzy Lamplugh's body defends decision not to dig up garden of prime suspect's mother 16 years ago 

Detective superintendent Jim Dickie, who led the investigation to find Suzy Lamplugh's body, today defended the decision not to dig up the garden of prime suspect John Cannan's mother.
Ex-Flying Squad DS Dickie, who spent six years in charge of the enquiry, received a tip-off from a Sunday newspaper in 2002 (right) that Cannan may have buried her body under the patio. 
But despite spending six months searching the property at the end of 2003, Dickie today told MailOnline: 'In 2003 we certainly didn't dig up the back garden.
'We would have searched the house where Cannan's mother lived anyway because of his prolific offending record and the fact that he spent a significant period living there.
'But we didn't dig up the garden because we didn't have any specific information back then that she may be buried there.'
Defending his actions, Dickie, who retired in 2006, said the Met received hundreds of tips on their investigation and had to deal with each one 'proportionally'.
He went on: 'We explored every tip and did a number of searches and didn't find her. There is no doubt about it. John Cannan is responsible for the murder of Suzy Lamplugh. They just need to find enough evidence to charge him.'
'The Crown Prosecution Service said at the time that we had left no stone unturned in trying to get a conviction and they said they were just waiting for developments in technology to charge him, or indeed, finding a body. 
DS Dickie said detectives made a number of visits to the property but found no evidence to suggest Suzy was buried in the back garden.
He said that he would be surprised if detectives digging there now would find her body.
He said: 'Police are clearly acting on new intelligence. But if there is a new piece of information, then why has the person waited until now to come forward? Why have they waited this long to provide new information?
'While in one way I hope they will be successful, my head tells me they won't find anything.'
At the scene today, specialist forensics scientists from the private company Alecto arrived carried equipment throughout the morning.
A blue tent was erected over what is believed to be a former garage in the rear garden of the property, the roof of which is just visible beyond the police cordon.
The Met, being supported by West Midlands Police officers, stressed that the current occupants of the property are in no way connected to the investigation. 
Mr Carey said: 'When the police turned up again my reaction was 'oh is this a blast from the past coming back to haunt us'.'
He added that he and his wife met Cannan's mother Shelia when she showed them the house.
He said: 'We knew the back story of the house and knew the name Suzy Lamplugh because it was in the news at the time'.
Cannan's mother Sheila left the property in 1992 and its current owners have given permission for police to pull down the garage, use radar to scan the grounds and dig it up.
In 2000 she spoke about the case and said: 'He has never discussed this with me, and I have never asked him. 
'I suppose I have had it on my mind for so long. I am getting old, and you feel guilty yourself. 
'He's mine, I can't deny that. He 's my son who I brought up.
'But I still can't understand anything about why. That's what disturbs you. It's very upsetting really'. 
Robert, a neighbour who didn't wish to be formally identified by his full name, said: 'Cannan's mum Sheila lived at the house. He was always quite strange, he often returned in his black BMW and frequently had bonfires in the back garden.'
Diane and Paul Lamplugh, parents of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, died before finding out who murdered their daughterWhen Suzy Lamplugh (pictured) didn't return home a huge police search was launched but no-one was convicted over her death and in 1994 she was officially declared dead, presumed murdered
Diane and Paul Lamplugh, parents of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh, died before finding out who murdered their daughter 
This is the final diary entry by Suzy who wrote she was meeting Mr Kipper at 12.45pm on July 28 1986 but she never returned
This is the final diary entry by Suzy who wrote she was meeting Mr Kipper at 12.45pm on July 28 1986 but she never returned
Suzy's bereft father Paul Lamplugh, who had Parkinson's disease, died with his three surviving children by his side in June, having spent the rest of his life searching for his daughter's body.

Who is Suzy Lamplugh? Timeline of how the estate agent vanished after going to meet a man named 'Mr Kipper' 32 years ago 

Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh disappeared after showing Mr Kipper around a house in 1986 
Estate agent Suzy Lamplugh disappeared after showing Mr Kipper around a house in 1986 
July 28, 1986
Suzy Lamplugh, 25, disappears after leaving her office to show a man known only as 'Mr Kipper' around a house in Fulham, west London.
Her white Ford Fiesta is found parked outside a home for sale in Stevenage Road, which is a couple of miles from her appointment in Shorrolds Road. 
December 1986
The missing woman's parents Paul and Diana Lamplugh set up a charity in their daughter's name, called The Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
October 1987 
Officers carry out DNA testing on 800 unidentified bodies in a bid to identify that of Suzy, but no matches come back.
The police inquiry is officially closed due to a lack of evidence or leads. The file remains open, however.
April 1989
Police conduct their first interview with John Cannan, who is serving three life sentences for murder and a series of sex attacks.
His prison nickname is revealed to be Kipper. However police are unable to link any evidence to him, despite his girlfriend's suspicions that he is involved.
August 1992
A young woman's body is found in Mendip Hills, Somerset, but it is quickly discounted as being that of Suzy.  
February 1994
Suzy Lamplugh is officially declared dead by the police.
March 1997
The Protection from Harassment Act is passed in the Houses of Parliament, thanks in part to the work of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.
May 2000
Police spectacularly announce the case is to be reopened due to the tracing of a car that may be linked to the case.
Later in the year, officers arrest John Cannan and interview him once again, but he is not charged. 
November 2002
In an unusual move, police reveal Cannan to be their 'only suspect' in the case, but it is said that there is not enough evidence to charge him.
December 2002
Prisoner comes forward to claim Cannan told him he had killed Suzy Lamplugh and buried her under a patio at his mother's house. Police visited the house but failed to find any trace of her.
2008
Steve Wright, who murdered five prostitutes, is linked to the case, but no evidence links him to the crime expect that he worked with Suzy in the 1980s aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 cruise ship.
June 2008: Cannan loses appeal to slash his 35 year prison sentence
October 2018: Police start digging in the garden that once belonged to his mother Sheila 
He was handed an OBE along with his wife Diana, who died in 2012, after the couple set up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust in memory of their beloved child to protect other women from harm.
They have set up a forensic tent in the garden and are examining an outbuilding.  
They have dismantled the flimsy garage building and are poised to dig into the concrete foundations.  
The grim search for Suzy's body took place only yards from a child's trampoline and other play equipment.
Ground penetrating radar is also thought to have been used on the area and the search is expected to last for several days. 
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust said the development is a reminder of the 'continuing tragedy'.
'The thoughts of everyone at Suzy Lamplugh Trust are with Suzy's family today,' a statement said.
'Today we continue the work of (her parents) Paul and Diana to reduce violence and aggression in society, supporting workplaces to help their lone and frontline workers be safer and feel safer.
'Today's news reminds us once again of the continuing tragedy of Suzy's story and the importance of employers taking responsibility for the personal safety of their staff.' 
The police are thought to be conducting a full scale investigation into her abduction and murder after receiving new information. 
It is believed his mother Sheila, thought to be in her 80s, now lives in a different part of the country.
There is no suggestion she is involved in or knew anything about his crimes. 
At the time witnesses had seen a woman struggling with a man next to a BMW, which Cannan was believed to have had access to.  
In a rare move in 2002, Scotland Yard named Cannan as the man they believed murdered Miss Lamplugh. 
He was released from a hostel only days before she went missing.
Cannan, 64, is serving three life sentences for murder and a series of sex attacks, has denied any involvement. 
In 1989, he was jailed for life for the murder of Bristol newlywed Shirley Banks and the rape of a woman in Reading.
The case against Cannan has always been undermined by a lack of forensic evidence and the location of the body.
The Met Police said last night: 'The search follows information received in relation to a historical unsolved investigation.
'We will not be commenting on speculation surrounding the search, or providing any further information at this time.'
Three major searches took place for Suzy in the early 2000s and in 2010.
A team of 12 officers spent two days digging next to a disused brickworks at Norton Barracks, near Worcester, in 2001.
Suzy's parents Paul and Diane Lamplugh both died without ever finding out what happened to their daughter.
Paul Lamplugh, who had Parkinson's disease, died with his three surviving children by his side earlier this year, having spent the rest of his life searching for his daughter's body.
The 87-year-old was handed an OBE along with his wife Diana, who died in 2012 after suffering from a stroke.
The couple, from East Sheen, south west London, set up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust in 1986 to 'campaign, educate and support people to help reduce the risk of violence and aggression for everyone'.
Officers digging the concrete are wearing masks to protect them from the dust and have used tarpaulin to cover the area they are digging
Officers digging the concrete are wearing masks to protect them from the dust and have used tarpaulin to cover the area they are digging
The owner of the house says that police spent prolonged periods there in 2003 but failed to find any trace of missing Suzy
The owner of the house says that police spent prolonged periods there in 2003 but failed to find any trace of missing Suzy
Police have been searching the area around the iron corrugated structure, picture above behind the gates to the property, and have pulled it down (file picture)
Police have been searching the area around the iron corrugated structure, picture above behind the gates to the property, and have pulled it down (file picture)
Mr Lamplugh, last spoke out about his daughter's apparent murder in 2016.
He said: 'The older I get the more I miss her' - but also admitted he 'had to accept' the 'awful' realisation she was killed deliberately and he would probably never know who did it.
Out of the tragedy Suzy's family fought to protect other women from violence through the foundation in her name. 
Generations of freshers at universities were handed free rape alarms - known as 'Suzy Lamplugh Alarms - and they fought for more street lights on the streets of Britain to protect women. 
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust would also launch Stalking Awareness Week in Britain. 
In 2008 it emerged that the wife of Suffolk Strangler Steve Wright said he could have claimed missing estate agent Suzy Lamplugh as his first victim.
The Ipswich based truck driver murdered five prostitutes in a six-week frenzy in 2007.
His ex-wife Diane Cole revealed the extraordinary links between the former QE2 steward and Miss Lamplugh , who worked on the luxury liner as a beautician.
Mrs Cole checked her diaries to discover that her former husband, who was violent towards her, had shore leave around the time of 25-year-old Miss Lamplugh's disappearance on July 28, 1986. She has given full details to police.
Mrs Cole, who also worked on the QE2, said: 'I knew Suzy Lamplugh by sight. I saw him talking with her in the corridor. I was too downtrodden to challenge him about it then because he was such a Jekyll-and-Hyde character and you never knew when he would flip. 
'But when I look back I can see how he was probably flirting with her.' She added: 'I really want him to tell us if he killed her for my peace of mind - for her family's sake.'
Mrs Cole added: 'I'm sure Steve used the word 'kipper' as slang for face. He used to say, 'What's up with your kipper?''
Fellow QE2 shipmate Paul Tennant, a former waiter, said Wright 'tried to become a friend of Suzy's all the time', while another former crew member, Steve Adler said: 'Steve would sniff around all the girls and particularly the beauticians such as Suzy.'
Police search a field next to the B4084 in Pershore, Worcestershire, looking for Suzy Lumplugh in 2000
Police search a field next to the B4084 in Pershore, Worcestershire, looking for Suzy Lumplugh in 2000
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police searching the ground near Norton Barracks, Worcestershire, in 2001
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police searching the ground near Norton Barracks, Worcestershire, in 2001

What is the aim of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust? 

Paul Lamplugh, posed with a photo of his daughter Suzy in February 2013, he sadly died before finding out who killed his daughter
Paul Lamplugh, posed with a photo of his daughter Suzy in February 2013, he sadly died before finding out who killed his daughter
Paul Lamplugh was handed an OBE along with his wife Diana after setting up the Suzy Lamplugh Trust in 1986. 
The personal safety charity helps thousands of people in Britain every year and was set up because Mr and Mrs Lamplugh were desperate for others to 'stay safe' after Suzy vanished.
In its mission statement, the trust said it aims 'to reduce the risk of violence and aggression through campaigning, education and support'.
Out of the tragedy Suzy's family fought to protect other women from violence through the foundation in her name. 
Generations of freshers at universities were handed free rape alarms - known as 'Suzy Lamplugh Alarms - and they fought for more street lights on the streets of Britain to protect women. 
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust would also launch Stalking Awareness Week in Britain. 
In 1997, the Protection from Harassment Act was passed thanks in part to the work of the trust.

No comments:

Post a Comment