A FORMER CID chief has slammed police investigating the murder of Castleford market trader Molly Wright on the sixth anniversary of her death – claiming crucial information was not acted on.
Private investigator Andy Brown was hired earlier this year by the family of David Hill, who was convicted four years ago of killing his mother-in-law Mrs Wright on September 27, 2006.
Mr Brown, who retired from West Yorkshire Police in 2003, said following an appeal in the Express in May, police had agreed to look into claims that a witness saw a “suspicious man” seen near Mrs Wright’s Redhill Avenue home on the day of her murder.
He said: “This sighting is considered highly significant because it confirms what another witnesses told the police at the time of the murder.
“It would appear from the limited details I have of this ‘suspicious man’ that the police were unable to corroborate or confirm the account of the earlier witness.
“Now we have that corroboration and I feel this line of enquiry should be pursued.”
Mr Brown said the witness saw the “suspicious man” outside Morritt’s funeral parlour at 2.45pm on the day of the attack and contacted the investigation team and told them what she had seen, but was never contacted again by them.
Mr Brown added: “I am convinced that this witness’s information was not properly acted upon and followed up by the police and clearly should have been.
“This is a highly significant development and casts serious doubts upon the thoroughness of the original investigation.”
Mr Brown wrote to the police three weeks ago with the information and received confirmation yesterday they would follow it up.
A police spokesman said: “We have received some information from Mr Brown which is being looked at but we would like to remind people this case went to trial at Leeds Crown Court four years ago and resulted in a guilty verdict.
“It has subsequently been through the Court of Appeal and been considered by the Criminal Cases Review Commission where the decision was upheld.”
Hill was jailed for life for bludgeoning the 73-year-old grandmother in her Airedale home but his family – including wife Maxine and sister-in-law Jill Northwood – believe he is innocent.
Mrs Northwood said: “I think the new evidence is pretty telling and this new witness backs up some other evidence that’s out there.
“I think the police need to take note of this and I hope it will go to the Criminal Cases Review Commission to reopen it and look at it properly.
“It’s the anniversary of my mother’s death and not a day goes by where we don’t think of her.
“It would be nice if someone out there has the decency to tell the truth.”
Anyone who thinks they may have information can contact Andy Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07877 361841.