1. Nominee & Winner: VINCE BUTLER F/1710
Summary of Nomination
Vince was instructed by a solicitor client in connection with an historic rape case.
The alleged offence took place some 13 years previously when police had obtained a DNA sample of the suspected offender. Then 13 years later a man gave a DNA sample and the samples matched. The man was arrested on suspicion of rape.
The offence was alleged to have occurred behind some builder’s hoardings a short distance from various bars.
The investigation began with Vince reviewing historic statements & photographs and identified various changes to the town centre layout. He also identified the builders from the hoarding boards & the presence of certain private cars.
As a result of enquiries made Vince was able to revisit various witnesses and new statements were obtained giving particular regard to the complainant’s level of intoxication.
Lawyers made some DVLA enquiries and identified the owners of the private vehicles in the vicinity. A door supervisor was interviewed and could recall quite clearly having followed the case in local newspapers at the time. He supplied a statement advising he saw a couple ‘at it’ behind the builders hoardings and that the female didn’t appear to be in distress.
Vince made further enquiries into the existence of CCTV cameras now and at the time of the incident. Enquiries were made with various businesses and the local authority. He was able to established that police hadn’t gathered CCTV footage during their initial enquiries 13 years ago.
Although Vince wasn’t required to attend the Court his statements and plan drawings were used to support the defence case during a 4 day trial. After the trial he was advised that the complainant had admitted to being drunk at the time of the incident and that she had failed to call for help despite the defence proving there were door supervisors in the vicinity at the time.
The accused was acquitted.
This nomination is supported by 2 solicitor testimonials and a further endorsement from an ABI member.
2. Nominee: TONY ROSINGER F/1408
Summary of Nomination
This nomination has been forwarded by a 52 year old member of the public called Tracie who had been looking for her birth family from the age of 18. She was adopted at the age of 2 years.
The lady concerned had engaged with various lines of enquiry including the ITV program ‘Long Lost Family’ who sadly reported a negative result after some months of processing her details.
The lady herself had made no progress with the various enquiries she had made. However, by chance this lady worked with Jeanette Rosinger the wife of Tony and after a conversation about family backgrounds ended up forwarding Tony all the information she held. This being her mother’s maiden name and as it turned out her mother’s incorrect year of birth.
Tony took on the enquiry and within 24 hours of receiving the information contacted a man who confirmed he was Tracie’s uncle.
The following day Tony had spoken to Tracie’s half sister and birth mother. The family requested that all of their information be passed on to Tracie. Tracie herself commented “He then passed all of their contact details on to me as they had requested, including my mum’s new name as she had had two surname changes during her life”.
The following weekend a family reunion was held!
In total Tracie has now rediscovered 3 half sisters, 3 half brothers, 15 nieces/nephews and 5 aunties/uncles.
A further paragraph from Tracie’s nomination read as follows: I have never met Tony but will never be able to thank him enough for what he has done for me. I spent so many years looking in vain and thought that I would never get the chance to meet my family and find out who I really am. But thanks to only him, I actually managed to celebrate my mums 70th birthday with her in October 2016.
This nomination is supported by a testimonial from one of Tracie’s uncles.
3. Nominee: MARTIN TOMLINS-YOUNG F/1350
Summary of Nomination
This nomination has been forwarded by a member of the public who is also a husband, father and complainant in relation to an aggravated burglary.
Martin's firm, Research Associates were instructed to make enquiries after offences took place at residential premises in which a mother and daughter (17 years) had been separated, tied up, gagged, blind folded & ear defenders put on their heads by 3 men wearing balaclavas.
The house was ransacked & expensive property stolen.
The police were obviously involved in this investigation and their forensics had uncovered a partial DNA match for one of the men off ear defenders left at the scene. However they informed the complainant they held out little hope of the perpetrators being caught and convicted.
About a month after the offence the wife of the complainant identified some of the stolen property being advertised on Ebay. Despite this development the complainant perceived the police to be reacting slower than he would have liked and so approached Research Associates to assist with the investigation.
Martin Tomlins-Young was tasked with the job of identifying the Ebay seller. He accomplished this and also identified a man fitting the description of one of the robbers trying to sell a pair of stolen shoes on a Facebook Market Place account.
Further enquiries revealed that the man and woman lived at the same address and Research Associates liaised with police and alerted them to their discoveries.
A dawn raid was organised and a man arrested and a few hours later the female was also in custody. The man’s DNA was a match to that found on the ear defenders.
Much of the stolen property was recovered from this address as well as the balaclavas, blacked out goggles, duct tape etc.
Subsequent police enquiries identified the other 2 robbers and the ‘brains’ behind the attack who turned out to be a former business colleague of the client.
All involved have been told to expect long prison sentences.
4. Nominee: RICHARD WOOD F/918
Summary of Nomination
Richard received urgent instructions from a solicitor client at about 5.30pm on a Friday evening. The instructions required urgent attention and related to a case that was being heard at a Crown Court the following Monday morning in relation to an allegation of murder.
The solicitor was representing 2 juveniles and 2 adults. The instructions were to take photographs of 2 locations, one relatively simple near to a known address and another that was far more difficult was the location where the deceased’s body had been found.
According to the instructions this location was near to an A road and I quote “there was medical evidence to indicate the person had been alive at the point where he had been at the top of the hill. But was then found in a shallow river (or something similar) at the bottom of the hill”.
The only thing to assist by way of an address, was somewhere close to some identified cottages.
The instruction was extremely vague and urgent.
Richard searched Google Earth and realised the stretch of road where he was supposed to photograph was at least half a mile in length and without any further specific information he would be struggling. He searched various press and news reports etc., these had some detail but nothing that helped him relating to the exact location. So shortly after 6.00am on the following Sunday morning Richard began to walk around the area in a hope that he might find something of relevance. By his sheer persistence he spoke to a man who knew where the body had been found.
Richard was then able to take photographs showing particular features pertinent to the defence. Measurements were also taken to preparing a sketch plan of the scene.
Richard forwarded his photos and plan to the defence team at the Crown Court early on the Monday morning. The QC representing the defendants was delighted with his efforts.
This nomination was supported by a testimonial from the instructing solicitor.