Detectives and a civilian analyst whose work helped bring a gang who kidnapped a Melton man to justice were praised by a judge for their ‘skill and nerve’.
As previously reported by the Melton Times four men from the Nottingham area were jailed last week at Leicester Crown Court for the kidnap of Melton man Daniel Tillson.
Two women, also from the Nottingham area, were also jailed for Mr Tillson’s false imprisonment.
Judge Simon Hammond publicly commended the ‘splendid work’ of intelligence analyst Gemma Clarke, a Leicestershire Police civilian employee, who had prepared charts tracking the vehicular movement of the defendants as well as collating information using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, CCTV footage, speed cameras and mobile phone data/cell site analysis showing who was calling who.
Leicester Crown Court heard that numerous phone calls had been made by one of the kidnappers, Damien Hyland, to a shared mobile phone used by the two female defendants, as well as a call made from a phone associated to another of the kidnappers, Levi Wildridge, and calls had been made from the shared phone to Hyland.
Judge Hammond said: “The police team who handled this operation, which required skill and nerve, are to be congratulated along with the gathering of evidence which was so compelling. The evidence was overwhelming which is tribute to the preparation of the case.”
Speaking after the sentencing hearing DCI Shaun Orton, who led the investigation, said: “I’m very pleased the judge recognised the work Gemma did.
“There was a lot of evidence she produced in a format that could be understood by the jury in the Campbell trial and she also did a great amount of work that wasn’t used in evidence.
“The task she had in this case was mammoth with the volume of mobile phone and ANPR data.”
He added: “There was a surveillance team deployed in the first phase of this operation and the work they did gave the investigating team a foundation upon which to work.”