Slavery victim condemns her depraved abusers

A woman in her 20s who was treated like a slave for a period of 17 months has today (Friday) condemned the people who abused her.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was abused physically, emotionally, financially and sexually.

Speaking following their sentencing, she said her experiences had all but destroyed her life.

She said: “They took complete control over all my finances, leaving me vulnerable and reliant on them in all aspects of my life. During the 17 months I was treated worse than an animal.

“By the end, I had nothing left. My spirit and fight had gone, and I was barely human.

“One day I could take no more, and fell apart. That led to police involvement, and the day I spoke to the police was the day I began to turn my life around.

“Looking back now, I can’t believe how degrading, brutal, and traumatising it had been, and how it had all but destroyed me.

“I want to thank the police with all my heart. Without them, I don’t believe I would or could have survived.

“The only crumb of comfort I have is that the people who treated me in such a depraved and inhumane fashion as their slave admitted their guilt.

“I owe the police everything. Thank you.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Two sentenced in “wicked” slavery case

A couple from Barwell who treated a vulnerable woman in her 20s as their slave for nearly a year and a half have been sentenced today (Friday).

Kevin Warren, 27, and his partner Donna Morris, 35, of Bradgate Road, pleaded guilty to a charge under the Modern Slavery Act at the start of their trial held at the end of last year.

Warren also admitted five counts of rape against the woman.

Today, Warren has been sentenced to serve 18 years in prison, and five years on licence following his release.

Morris has been ordered to serve a four year prison sentence.

The victim was subjected to 17 months of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, with the pair also controlling her finances.

Their appalling crimes first came to light shortly after the victim broke down and began to disclose the life she was being forced to lead.

Detective Inspector Mark Parish, who oversaw the investigation, said the crimes committed against the woman were “truly shocking in their wickedness, their wantonness, and their horror”.

He said: “I cannot begin to imagine the torment this young, vulnerable woman went through in those 17 months. It beggars belief that people can treat a fellow human being in such a grotesquely cruel fashion.

“The depths to which these offenders sank were matched only by our resolute determination to bring them to justice, and I would want to praise my colleague Detective Constable Tom Butler who has demonstrated total dedication and determination in his enquiries to achieve that.

“The fact that the two defendants pleaded guilty is a tribute to the victim’s remarkable courage in coming forward and telling us what had happened to her, and to Tom’s dogged perseverance and the thoroughness of his work as the officer in charge of this case.

“Let this terrible case send out the strongest possible warning to anyone who thinks it is appropriate to treat a fellow human being like this. You will be caught, and you will face justice.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Loughborough murder - two further men charged

Detectives investigating the murder of 38-year-old Mark Swinhoe have charged two further men in connection with his death.

Paul Anthony Williams, 38, of no fixed abode has been charged with conspiracy to murder.

Jamie Lloyd Wileman 24, of Elm Grove, Moira, Swadlincote has been charged with conspiracy to murder.

Both have been remanded to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Saturday 20 January).

The charge relates to an incident in Moira Street, Loughborough, on Sunday 14 January.

Two men previously charged this week have appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court. They are Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse, 23, of Glebe Road, Queniborough, charged with conspiracy to murder and Harry Matthews, 22, of Brush Drive, Loughborough, charged with conspiracy to murder, wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Jail for woman convicted of encouraging suicide

A 44-year-old woman who left a man to die after pulling out of a suicide pact has today been jailed for encouraging him to take his own life.

Natasha Gordon came into contact with Matthew Birkinshaw on an internet forum and within hours of the first message she had arranged to meet him the next day – claiming she would take her own life at the same time as him.

On 17 December 2015 the pair travelled together to Rutland Water where only 31-year-old Matthew, from Walsall, went ahead with the pact.

Gordon, of Paston Ridings, Paston, in Peterborough, was convicted of encouraging Matthew to commit suicide following a trial in December last year. She appeared at Leicester Crown Court today (Friday 19 January) where she was sentenced to four years.

During the hearing Matthew’s mother and brother read out statements detailing the impact his death had had on the family.

In a statement, David Birkinshaw said: “Going through the actual trial itself has been a mix of emotions. It has been heart breaking to hear Matt’s last 24 hours in such detail. What was particularly tough was listening to the details of his final moments. Matt was not perfect but he was one of the kindest and friendliest people I knew, somebody whom people instantly warmed to and to hear that somebody could walk away from him in those moments is extremely hard to take.

“It was also hard to have no right of reply to how Matt was portrayed in court. My brother was a bright, funny, articulate man who was always ready to laugh and joke. He’d helped me move into my first house, held me up on my stag do, been an usher at my wedding and looked after my child. All these things, and many more, make up the Matt that I knew for 31 years.

“His death has left an enormous void in my life that can never be filled.”

During the trial the court hear how Gordon had sent her partner a message informing him of plans to end her life shortly after arriving to meet Matthew at Rutland Water. Her partner subsequently raised the alarm with police and officers were sent to locate her.

However, when officers arrived Gordon failed to tell them why she was there or that she had left Matthew to go through with the pact.

It was only after she was returned home to Peterborough that Gordon disclosed how she’d travelled to the area to commit suicide alongside another man and officers returned to Rutland where Matthew was found.

Detective Constable Michelle Preston, who helped lead the investigation, said: “This is an incredibly tragic case where a young man, who had his whole life ahead of him, was preyed upon by a woman who quickly gained his trust and exploited his vulnerability.

“During our investigation we found Gordon had previously tried to encourage others to take their own life. And we also found evidence that she’d attempted to engage two people in conversation about suicide shortly after being located by police in Rutland.

“It is her blatant disregard for Matthew’s welfare that day that makes this tragic case even more distressing for all involved.

“I know I speak as not only the investigating officer, but on behalf of the family, when I urge anyone who may be in crisis to reach out to someone – if that isn’t a friend or a family member, there are specialist organisations who can provide the support or counsel you might need at that moment in time.”

Support services are available through a number of organisations, including:

  • National charity Samaritans – by calling 116123 or visiting https://www.samaritans.org/
  • PAPYRUS – prevention of young suicide – by calling 0800 068 4141 or visiting https://www.papyrus-uk.org/
  • SOBS (Survivors of bereavement by suicide) – by visiting https://uksobs.org/

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Officers investigating a burglary would like to speak to these men

Officers investigating a burglary in Coalville, Leicestershire, would like to speak to these two men who may be able to help with enquiries.

Police were called to a burglary at Battleflat Drive which is believed to have happened sometime between 9am on 4 January and 3.40pm on 5 January.

A large amount of valuable items were stolen including jewellery as well as a contactless credit card.

The card has since been used to make purchases at stores in Leicestershire and Derbyshire. This includes at a store in Main Street, Kirby Muxloe, Leicester, on 4 January and at stores in Repton Road, Willington, Derby and Spondon, Derby on 5 January.

DC Martin Gallagher said: “We are continuing to investigate this incident and would like to speak to the two men pictured.

“Anyone else who has any other information regarding the burglary or use of the card is also asked to contact us.”

If you recognise the men pictured, or have any other information, contact 101 quoting incident number 18000007639 for the attention of DC 1118 Martin Gallagher.

Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Loughborough murder – second man charged and further arrest

Detectives investigating the murder of 38-year-old Mark Swinhoe have charged a second man in connection with his death.

Harry Matthews, 22, of Brush Lane, Loughborough, has been charged with conspiracy to murder, wounding with intent and possession of a bladed article.

He has been remanded to appear at Leicester Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Friday 19 January).

The charge relates to an incident in Moira Street, Loughborough, on Sunday 14 January.

A further arrest has also been made this evening in connection with the incident.

A 38-year-old man was detained on suspicion of murder and is in police custody where he will questioned by detectives. Officers have also been granted further time to question a 24-year-old man who was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of murder.

Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse, 23, of Glebe Road, Queniborough, Leicestershire, has previously been charged with conspiracy to murder and appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court today (18 January).

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Missing - Kyle Darlison

Can you help police find Kyle Darlison?

Kyle was last seen by a friend on 29 December and was reported missing on 5 January by his family following concern that he hadn’t been in contact.

Officers are growing increasingly concerned for Kyle’s health due to uncertainty about whether he has access to daily medication which he requires.

The 25-year-old, who is of no fixed address, has links to the Newbold Verdon and Wigston areas.

Kyle is 6’3”, slim, has short brown hair and has a shamrock tattoo on the right side of his neck.

He was last seen wearing Adidas bottoms, a grey Adidas jumper, a Trespass Puffer style coat and grey gloves.

If you have seen Kyle or have any information regarding his whereabouts, contact police on 101 quoting incident 282 of 5 January 2018.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Free performance of ‘In the Net’ for parents and carers

Free performances of an award-winning play which highlights the importance of internet safety to Key Stage 2 primary school children have been lined up to ensure parents and carers understand its key messages and can then reinforce them at home.

‘In the Net,’ by the AlterEgo Theatre Group, is due to be shown to eight and nine-year-old schoolchildren across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland this term. Two evening performances have been organised and will take place on Thursday, January 25 at the Retro Suite, Wigston and Tuesday, February 20 at Melton Theatre, Melton Mowbray.

Most children access the internet from a very early age. While it is a fantastic learning and social resource it does come with risks and it is essential children are given the tools they need to stay safe online from a very early age. ‘In the Net’ does just that, using an entertaining, interactive pantomime as its vehicle, introducing and exploring concepts such as:

  • Safe internet use
  • Keeping personal information safe
  • The effects of cyber-bullying on others
  • What to do if you are being cyber-bullied
  • What to do when you get that ‘Uh-Oh!’ feeling
  • What to do if you have questions or concerns

Further information about the play and about AlterEgo Theatre Group can be found at: http://www.alteregocreativesolutions.co.uk/inthenet/

Book Instructions – PLEASE BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

Performances will be followed by a brief presentation by a local authority safeguarding lead.

  1. Retro Suite – Thursday, January 25, 2018
  2. Melton Theatre – Tuesday, February 20 2018

Agencies across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are working tirelessly to protect children from harm. This is one of a number of initiatives currently being rolled out across the county to help keep them safe online and tackle Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).

For further information about these projects please contact [email protected]

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Indecent exposure in Anstey Lane, Leicester

Did you witness a man indecently exposing himself in Anstey Lane on Tuesday 16 January?

We’ve received a report from a woman who was walking along the lane with her young baby in a pushchair around 6.15pm.

The victim saw a man jump out of the bushes, she carried on walking and the man followed her on to Great Meadow Road where he jumped in front of her and then ran off into an alleyway.

The suspect has been described as a white man, about 20-years-old, 5ft 9ins tall, of skinny build, with short dark hair and a beard. He was wearing a long black jacket.

He wasn’t wearing anything under the long jacket and exposed himself to the victim, she was left extremely shocked by the incident.

A number of people were travelling along Anstey Lane at the time of the incident and we’d like to speak to anyone who may have witnessed it or has any information about the suspect.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact PC 4457 Gemma Stevens on 101, quoting crime number 18*25051.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Loughborough murder - man charged

Detectives investigating the murder of 38-year-old Mark Swinhoe have charged a man in connection with his death.

Christopher Cunningham-Pithouse, 23, of Glebe Road, Queniborough, Leicestershire, has been charged with conspiracy to murder.

He is due to appear before Leicester Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Thursday 18 January).

The charge relates to an incident in Moira Street, Loughborough, on Sunday 14 January.

Detectives have been granted further time to question a 22-year-old man who was arrested on Monday on suspicion of murder. A third man, aged 24, who was arrested earlier today on suspicion of murder also remains in custody.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News