Family pay tribute to murdered Ashley Johnson

The family and girlfriend of Ashley Johnson have today (date) released a tribute to him following the conviction in court of two men of his killing

In a letter addressed to the 24-year-old, his mother Karen and two brothers Aaron and Lee, said: “You are and always will be missed, you were a son, brother, uncle and true friend.

“No words can be written to express our sadness at loosing you and not a day goes by that you are not thought of and missed.

“Days will never be the same without your presence, hearing your voice and seeing your beautiful face and smile. Even though you are gone you are always with us and will forever remain in our hearts with the love you gave us all. We will see you again soon so keep a seat warm for us and keep smiling.

“We will always treasure memories and be blessed to have such a remarkable individual in our lives.”

Ashley’s girlfriend, Chelsea, said: “It’s hard to put into words the heartache and pain you feel when the person you love the most is taken from you. You were not only my partner but my best friend, the most loving and caring man to walk into my life.

“Your beautiful cheeky smile and your loud contagious laugh would light up any room and for that you will be truly missed. I couldn’t have found a better man to have fallen in love with. I am so grateful to have been such a big part of your life and to have been loved by you. You will always be loved and will never be forgotten.”

Chelsea’s parents added: “You came into our lives as the perfect partner for our daughter. You gave us all laughter, humour and love and the whole family fell in love with your personality and kindness. You will be truly missed by us all and it was a great honour to have known you.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Brothers to serve 30 years for murder

Two brothers have been sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of murder.

Roman Hemmings, 20, and his younger brother Sero Hemmings, 18, both of Swannington Road, Leicester, stabbed Ashley Johnson after taking offence to a comment about the manner of their driving.

They then fled the scene in the early hours of Saturday 24 February before going on the run.

Following a 12-day trial at Leicester Crown Court, both defendants were today (18 December) found guilty of murdering the 24-year-old and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Roman Hemmings has been ordered to serve a minimum of 20 years and Sero Hemmings a minimum of 10 years.

The court heard how shortly before the attack Ashley and three friends drove into Swannington Road in a silver Astra.

The defendants, who were sitting in a black Peugeot in the street, followed the Astra, driving aggressively.

When the cars stopped at traffic lights in Fosse Road North, Ashley, and the other two passengers, got out of vehicle to speak to the brothers.

As they got back into the Astra, a remark was made about how the Peugeot had been driven.

One of the defendants, Roman Hemmings, took exception to this and reached into the car and stabbed Ashley in the back.

Ashley’s friends called for an ambulance but despite the paramedics best efforts he died on the way to hospital.

After stabbing Ashley the brothers made their gateway. The car they were in was captured on CCTV being parked in Comet Close at 3.37am – a matter of minutes after the stabbing took place.

The footage showed two men returning to the Peugeot several times during the next couple of hours seemingly to clean it, before finally leaving the scene at 5.25am the same morning and heading into Stokeswood Park.

One of the officers first on the scene of the stabbing quickly identified on CCTV the type of car believed to have been involved and the area it was last seen.

After carrying out a search, a car similar in appearance was located and immediately caught the officer’s interest as, unlike the other vehicles in the street, there was no frost on the windscreen so must have recently been used.

It was quickly identified as belonging to Sero Hemmings and when examined, blood spots from Ashley were found in the vehicle.

The knife used to kill Ashley was located in Stokeswood Park the following day (Saturday 25 February).

A knife block and four knives were later seized from the brothers’ home address with one knife missing from the set. These knives had matching handles to the knife recovered in the park.

The brothers were quickly identified as suspects and despite going on the run from police they were arrested for Ashley’s murder.

Detective Inspector Jon Blockley, from East Midlands Special Operations Unit’s major crime team, said: “This was a horrific incident in which a young man had his life taken away by two men he didn’t know – all over a flippant comment about the way a car was being driven.

“After committing the murder the brothers tried to cover up their crime by attempting to clean the car and throw away the knife.

“Some fantastic work carried out by officers during the early stages of the investigation led us to quickly identify the brothers as suspects. Despite going on the run, we were able to locate and arrest them both for killing Ashley.

“While today’s guilty verdict will not bring Ashley back to his family I hope it will provide some closure on what has been an incredibly difficult time.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Public order offender pleaded guilty at magistrates court

A 44-year-old man has been sentenced at Leicester Magistrates’ Court for a public order offence at a Leicester City football match.

Christopher Parry, of Stuart Street, Barnoldswick, Lancashire, pleaded guilty on 14 December after being seen making a Nazi salute towards Leicester City fans at the LCFC v Burnley match at the King Power Stadium on 10 November.

He was given a 12 month conditional discharge, ordered to by £85 costs and was given a three year football banning order.

Superintendent Steve Potter, the match commander on the day, said: “Us and the club take a zero tolerance approach to such behaviour at matches and we will take action against those responsible for such behaviour.

“Any person found guilty of committing such a hate crime at football can expect to be banned from attending matches for a minimum of three years.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Team who bring brutal attacker to justice recognised

Eight members of the Beaumont Leys Neighbourhood Investigation Team have received a Chief Superintendents ‘Certificate for Outstanding Work’ for their role in securing the conviction of a man who brutally attacked another man with a crow bar.

On Friday 11 May 2018, 28 year old Dawid Rzeszowski, of no fixed address, approached a 50 year old man, who was known to him, on Marshall Street. Rzeszowski produced a crow bar, which was concealed on him, and started to hit the victim to the head and leg. A friend, who was with the victim at the time, tried to stop the attack but was also assaulted by Rzeszowski. Minutes later, Rzesowski ran off from the scene of the incident.

The seriously injured victim sustained a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain for which he had to have specialist surgery. He also has had surgery to a repair a broken bone in his leg.

The friend, a 41-year-old man, sustained a broken thumb and a minor head injury.

Throughout the next twelve days the investigation team pulled together – they were determined to find and arrest the suspect. Officers developed a good relationship with the victims and their relatives supporting them throughout the investigation and finding out as much as they could about the suspect which was helped at times by the fact that PC Mack Sokolowski spoke Polish.

Many enquires were made to locate the suspect with every officer providing sustained intelligence to other officers involved in the case. PC Maxine McQue identified a young person who had witnessed the assault and with patience and understanding was able to secure a witness statement overcoming a natural reluctance from their parents to involve a young child in the prosecution of such a violent offence. This evidence eventually proved crucial to the case.

Rzeszowski was eventually arrested twelve days later on 23 May. He pleaded guilty to Section 18 GBH with intent, Section 20 GBH without intent and possession of an offensive weapon today at Leicester Crown Court on Monday 3 September. Rzeszowski was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years for Section 18 GBH with intent and a further 18 months for Section 20 GBH without intent. He will serve the sentences consecutively, meaning a total sentence of nine years.

Nominating the team for the award, Inspector Ben Healy, said; “This was a complex investigation which wouldn’t usually be investigated within a Neighbourhood Investigation Team. They provided sustained intelligence support which resulted in the successful prosecution of an offender who received a nine year custodial service. PC Owen Bird, was the investigating officer, he did an excellent job, which was all the more exceptional because, at the time, he only had two years’ service with the police.”

PC Owen Bird, said: “This was a fantastic team effort from a vast number of people, which showed a great display of positive work to safeguard vulnerable people and bring a dangerous offender to justice.

“This was a really nasty incident in which a dangerous individual carried out a horrible attack in broad daylight in a busy street. He was intent on causing serious harm to his victim and gave no thought to injuring even those who he didn’t know coming to his aid.

“The victim was left with some significant injuries and he is extremely lucky he didn’t lose his life.”

Detective Sergeant Lisa Ariss, added: “We are thrilled to have received this award, although it was totally unexpected. There was some fantastic work done by our officers and with the help of the local community we were delighted to be able to bring the criminal to justice.”

The team received a Certificate for Outstanding Work at the Local Policing Directorate Chief Superintendent’s Award Ceremony on Friday 14 December.

They are;
PC Ben Dye,
DC Kirt Springthorpe,
PC Mack Sokolowski,
PC Kit Chauhan,
PC Maxine McQue,
PC Joe Turner,
PC Owen Bird,
DS Lisa Ariss.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Cabbies, hoteliers and pubs join campaign to tackle CSE in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Taxi drivers, hoteliers and licensed premises across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are being asked to support the police and local authorities to recognise the signs of child sexual exploitation and help keep children and young people safe.

As part of the ongoing work to raise awareness of CSE, those who work in these fields have been given bespoke training materials about child sexual exploitation (CSE) so they are aware of the indicators that could mean a child is at risk of being exploited.

The materials, which are attached, provide guidance about the signs to look out for and actions which must be taken if staff see anything which may indicate a child is at risk, along with a ‘safeguarding checklist’ of procedures to adhere to in order to fulfil safeguarding requirements in their area of business.

Detective Inspector Jenni Heggs, who leads the multi-agency CSE hub in Wigston, said:

“People who work in these industries are in a unique position to spot the signs of CSE and they have a duty to notice when all may not be right and to pass their concerns on to the police – potentially saving a child from this horrendous crime.

“Exploited children are often terrified and usually too scared to raise the alarm and ask for help. Taxi drivers, for example, need to notice when all may not be right with passengers in their vehicle, hotel reception staff need to look out for unusual bookings, and bar staff need to be alert to a number of indicators and raise the alarm if necessary.

“CSE is often hidden from view and going unnoticed. We need our licensed drivers and licensed premises, who are in a unique position to act as our eyes and ears, to spot activity or predatory behaviour that may be linked to child sexual exploitation and let us know so we can act quickly to safeguard victims and bring their abusers to justice.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, added:
“We have a duty to ensure frontline service industries are armed with the right information and are supported by police and local authority professionals.

“We must all work together to protect our children and raising awareness of CSE is crucial so that everybody across the county can spot the signs and speak out to stop it. These training materials will help us work together to inform, educate and prevent children from being sexually abused and it will soon be a mandatory requirement to undertake the CSE module as part of gaining a new taxi licence.

“Many businesses we talk to are fully supportive of the initiative and happy to join in the fight against child sexual exploitation.”

What do I do if I suspect a child is being sexually exploited?

If you have concerns about a child it is important that you don’t keep them to yourself.

  • Call 101 for non-emergencies or 999 if you are concerned that a child is in immediate danger

  • If you wish to remain anonymous contact Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 or report online www.crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information-online/.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

A gift for courage this Christmas to remember fallen police colleagues

Leicestershire Police are asking the public to give A ‘Gift for Courage’ this Christmas in support of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust’s Christmas campaign which launched today (Monday 17 December), in partnership with Twitter UK. The campaign aims to honour and remember fallen police officers who will be commemorated on the new UK Police Memorial to be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

From today until Friday 4 January 2019, the Trust will be tweeting the names of officers who died on duty on each day as well as personal Christmas video messages from the families of the fallen. As part of the campaign people will be directed to the UK Police Memorial website to make an online donation or to text COURAGE to 70171 to make an immediate £5 gift.

The campaign is raising money for the Trust’s Memorial fund which aims to create a physical memory of 4,000 police officers and staff who have died on duty as well as creating a Living Memorial fund that will support their families. The Memorial will cost £4.5 million to establish and to date £3.7 million has been raised. The Trust aims to complete the project by 2020.

As well as making donations, Leicestershire Police are asking the public to get involved and show their support for those who have laid down their lives from our Police service by tweeting out messages of tribute and uploading their own video messages of thanks using the hashtag #gift4courage.

Both the force and the OPCC are very supportive of the Police Arboretum Memorial Trust as they seek to ensure a poignant memorial for fallen officers.

“The OPCC has donated £20,000 from the Police Property Fund and a share of the collection from the recent force carol service has also gone towards this.

“Having attended the Arboretum on a number of occasions, it’s important that policing is represented in the same way as other services are commemorated.

“Sadly, some of the names that will go onto the memorial will be people that we know and served with and will include colleagues from Leicestershire Police who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“We would urge you to support this Christmas appeal.”

Sir Hugh Orde Chair of Trustees said: “This time of year is about families coming together to celebrate the festive season. For some there will be an empty seat at the table of those who went out to work to police our cities, towns and villages and sadly never came home. We owe them all a debt of gratitude and to remind them and their families that they will never be forgotten.”

For more information on The Memorial please visit the UK Police Memorial website.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Officers rewarded for outstanding work in drugs operation

A group of eight officers have been recognised for their outstanding work as part of an operation to tackle the supply of illegal drugs in North-West Leicestershire.

The officers were rewarded with a certificate for outstanding work, at the Chief Superintendent’s Award Ceremony, which took place at Leicestershire Police Force Headquarters, on Friday 14 December.

The operation, which took place in September, saw a total of nine arrests and investigations in relation to possession of offensive weapons and the supply of class A and B drugs.

Officers also collaborated with a number of partners including, North-West Leicestershire District Council, which contributed significantly to securing seven closure orders for anti-social behaviour and drugs related offences.

In addition, three vehicles were also seized.
The successful operation has seen the lives of local residents enhanced as a result of the eviction of their anti-social neighbours.

PC Graham Wells initiated the operation, he said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have picked up this award. We really did not expect it at all, however, there was outstanding work done by many individual officers within this operation and I am glad this has been recognised.

“The operation itself was a great success and shows just how effective we can be when we work collaboratively with local partners, such as North-West Leicester District Council. The action that we took really emphasised our zero tolerance stance towards this type of criminality. It has such a negative impact on the people who live in the local area and can cause major disruption and unrest to people’s lives. It is therefore important that we are proactive in dealing with these issues.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Appeal continues after man found injured in street

Officers are continuing to appeal for information after a man was injured following an incident in Leicester city centre.

A 22-year-old man was found collapsed in Belvoir Street at around 3.15am on Sunday and was taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

It is believed the man was assaulted and officers are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time.

They are particularly keen to speak to a small group of Asian men and women, who were seen in the street at the time of the incident.

They would also like to speak to a number of people who were seen filming the incident on their mobile phone.

The victim currently remains in the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, in a serious but stable condition and is no longer unconscious.

Police Constable Rich Jackson said: “Enquiries are continuing to establish the full circumstances of this incident including extensive CCTV checks.

“We are still keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time, who has not yet contacted us, in particular the people mentioned above.

“Please think back to if you were in the area at the time in question and to any information which you may have, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

“If you have any CCTV or dashcam footage from the area at the time, please also check this to see if it holds any vital information.”

Anyone with any information should contact PC 2168 Rich Jackson quoting incident 105 of 16 December.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Arrests in suspected multi-million pound nitrous oxide plot

A man and woman from Rutland have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the importation of up to £6 million-worth of ‘laughing gas’ for illegal human consumption.

The pair, both aged 55, were detained in the Ketton area on Monday 17 December 2018, and are to be questioned by officers from the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) on suspicion of importing a psychoactive substance and money laundering.

Four other men and two women were also taken into custody during coordinated raids in north and south Yorkshire by Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Nitrous oxide, also known as ‘laughing gas’, ‘balloons’, ‘NOS’ and ‘hippy crack’, is a gas commonly used in the medical and catering industry but is increasingly being used as a so-called ‘legal high’.

The consequences of taking the substance include dizziness and headaches, but can also be deadly, leading to suffocation.

EMSOU’s Detective Chief Inspector Ed McBryde-Wilding said: “In 2016, the government changed the law to ensure those involved in the unlawful supply of nitrous oxide could be prosecuted.

“Today, by working closely with other law enforcement partners, we have arrested a number of individuals suspected of being involved in the trafficking of this seemingly innocuous but potentially deadly substance.

“I hope today’s operation sends a strong message to those involved in this illicit trade that we will seek to prosecute wherever possible.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

Leicestershire Police staff member appears at magistrates court

A Leicestershire Police staff member appeared before magistrates on Thursday(13 December).

Laura Perridge, 30, of Leicestershire, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to six offences under the Data Protection Act 2018 for misusing force computer systems.

She was fined £300, ordered to pay £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

An internal misconduct investigation is now underway.

Source:: Leicestershire Police News