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Police plea to find killer of Andrew Heath at Warndon, Worcester
THERE are people in Worcester who know who killed Andrew Heath .
That’s the firm belief of the detective leading the investigation into his murder.
Tomorrow it will be exactly nine months since Mr Heath died in a fire at his flat in Chedworth Close, Warndon. His death remains the only unsolved murder in Worcester.
Now, the man in charge of the investigation, Detective Chief Inspector Paul Williamson, is asking for those he knows could help convict the killers to step forward. In a personal appeal, DCI Williamson said: “We know there are those who know who did this, how they did it, and why they did it. I need to work with those reluctant witnesses, so they make statements to police which could be used.”
DCI Williamson is all too aware of the difficulties which may be facing the witnesses he is appealing to.
Given that, he is making himself personally available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to speak to those directly who decide to pick up the phone and dial 101 for the police.
“All they need to do, is ask for me on the Operation Helm team, because I want to speak with these people personally,” he said.
“Witnesses are very important to any murder investigation, and we cannot do our job without the assistance of the public.
“I understand the complexities of why people may not have come to us before.
“People may fear reprisals but we have the tools available to put security measures in place to protect those individuals from harm.
“In 25 per cent of homicide cases at least one witness had received information about the murder because the person who did it had confided in them.
“Generally, that’s family members, girlfriends or friends, and work colleagues - but mainly its relatives.”
How would you feel if a relative had been burned alive?
At 4am, on the morning of Wednesday December 14 police, fire and ambulance services were called to an inferno at Mr Heath’s first-floor flat.
With the ferocity of the heat, smoke and flames there was little emergency services could do to save the flat’s sole occupant, and Mr Heath was later found inside burned to death.
His killers had put a wheelie bin against his front door - the only way out, and set fire to it.
It left his mother Helen, father Les, and sister Leia bereft, knowing full-well the horrific manner in which Mr Heath met his end.
One line of inquiry had involved Mr Heath’s background, as he had five convictions for gross indecency and indecent assault against boys aged 14 to 17.
Former doorman Mr Heath, was last convicted in 1999 and oldest was 28 years ago, all either in Birmingham or Leicester.
DCI Paul Williamson said: “I would ask these reluctant witnesses, to put everything else to one side and say how would they like to have had a family member burned to death - and then know the killers were still out there?”
To date, 10 people have been arrested in connection with the murder probe, and all remain suspects.
More than 1,000 statements have been collected from hundreds of people, mainly from the Warndon area.
A £10,000 police reward for information leading to the conviction of Mr Heath’s killers also remains in place.