Killings left police boss 'reeling'

EVENTS unfolded at such a pace during the Suffolk killings investigation that the officer in charge was left “reeling”, he revealed today. Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said the disappearances of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams in December 2006 were treated as “potentially critical incidents” from the outset.

Neil Puffett

EVENTS unfolded at such a pace during the Suffolk killings investigation that the officer in charge was left “reeling”, he revealed today.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull said the disappearances of Tania Nicol and Gemma Adams in December 2006 were treated as “potentially critical incidents” from the outset.

He said that although the two girls' bodies were discovered on December 2 and December 8, it was the weekend of Saturday December 9 and Sunday December 10 that stick out in his mind.


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On Saturday December 9 he was called to deal with the fatal shooting of Jimoh Plunkett at Zest nightclub in Ipswich but was not prepared for what came next.

He said: “I had been out all night dealing with that, then back in the office on Sunday morning.

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“I went home, had some lunch and was doing my ironing when I got the call to say another body had been found.

“I was reeling. “Anneli Alderton hadn't been reported missing, so wasn't even on our radar.

“I was left wondering what the hell was going on.

“Little did I know what was to come.”

Just days later the bodies of Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls were found at Levington.

He said: “In Suffolk we normally average six murders a year.

“We were dealing with six [including Jimoh Plunkett] in just 10 days. Any force would have struggled with that.

“But we had a huge amount of support, with officers from across the country drafted in to help.”

Assistant Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer, Gold Commander for the investigation, praised the work of her officer sin bringing Steve Wright to justice.

She said: “The disappearance of five young women proved a testing time for us all.

“Our priorities were clear. We had to locate the missing women, prevent any others from going missing and trace whoever was responsible for their disappearance.

“The logistics of managing such a multi-faceted and fast moving operation are enormous.

“It's not just a case of marshalling people together in sufficient numbers to undertake the work involved, but ensuring we had a blend of skills.

“The resilience and commitment across all sections of the force was phenomenal.

“Everyone pulled together and it was a remarkable team effort.”

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