SIO Det Supt Paul Williamson (third from end) and his team, joined by head judge Alan Webster and Edgar Blazier (SYTECH – Sponsor)
West Mercia Police have won the Outstanding leadership in an investigation category at The Investigator Excellence in Investigations Awards. The case in question was Operation Helm and the winning team were DCI Paul Williamson, DI Neil Austin, DS Kate Stevens, DC Shelley Orr, DS Richard Bently, DS Alan Crossley, T/DS Mark Morton and DC Julie Slater.
In the early hours of 14 December 2011 Andrew Heath was killed in an arson attack on his home. West Mercia Police launched what was to be a complex and protracted investigation attracting considerable public, political and media interest and concern. During the enquiry the team had to challenge assumptions, analyse facts and develop a problem solving team approach. The investigation team broke down in great detail the specific times and events of that fateful night.
On 23 May 2013 Daniel Martin finally pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court and a week later was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Several family members and associates were also found guilty following trial of perverting the course of justice.
The awards were held at Tally Ho, West Midlands Police Conference Centre in Birmingham on 29 January 2014. Nine awards were given out to UK police forces, the cases between them resulted in over 500 years in jail sentences.