Edmonds accused walks free

Georgina Edmonds

A jury in Winchester has acquitted a 33 year old man from Bishopstoke of the murder of frail widow Georgina Edmonds at her Brambridge Home four years ago.

Mrs Edmonds had been tortured for a bank card PIN number before being bludgeoned to death.

The trial had followed an extensive police operation to find the killer, codenamed ‘Columbian’ which offered of  a reward  of  £30,000 for information that would lead to a successful conviction.

The first suspects to be immediately taken in for questioning in January 2008 were residents at an Otterbourne hostel used for rehabilitating ex-offenders.

Soon after they were eliminated Police announced they wanted to trace two suspects who had been seen at Brambridge Garden Centre on the day of the murder.

E-FIT Georgina edmonds suspects

Police had been looking for these two men

In the weeks that followed members of the local Polish community then came under suspicion and posters in Polish were plastered on pillars in the Town Centre appealing for information.

Some Poles living on Twyford Road were taken in for questioning and Hampshire Detectives even flew out to Poland to pursue enquires.

In November 2008 a BBC TV ‘Crimewatch’ reconstruction was filmed at the murder scene.

By January 2010 the investigation was focused on Boyatt and North Eastleigh with a mass leaflet drop and DNA swabbing of suspects and volunteers from the same area.

DCI Barton makes his appeal

DCI Barton making an appeal at Tesco Express January 2010

In January 2011, the third anniversary of the murder, Police announced a potential breakthrough after an unspecified item was found in Otterbourne close to Poles Lane.

When the accused was arrested in Bishopstoke in June 2010 it was revealed that he had been living in Newtown at the time of the Murder. The accused was bailed, days later and not charged until February 2011.

These premises in Newtown were searched during the investigation

Hampshire Constabulary issued the following statement:

The police, Crown Prosecution Service and prosecuting counsel have worked tirelessly to put together and present the evidence they believe demonstrates who was responsible for this shocking crime.

The investigation has been one of the biggest murder inquiries ever conducted by Hampshire Constabulary.

It is the policy of Hampshire Constabulary that unsolved homicides are never closed.  This investigation will be reviewed in accordance with the criteria set out under national guidelines.

Our thoughts are with Mrs Edmonds’ family and members of the local community who still seek some form of closure and to see justice done.

Chief Constable Alex Marshall tweeted:

Detectives had declared that the man pictured on CCTV trying to use the victim’s cash card at the Tesco Express on Twyford Road was the Murderer.

Today, the man they believed was the same man in the video walked free.

Georgina Edmonds Killer

Do you know this man?

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  4 comments for “Edmonds accused walks free

  1. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    January 20, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    …and that’s why I don’t name suspects.

  2. Peter Stewart
    January 22, 2012 at 12:15 am

    I’ve not followed this trial closely but I understood the only real “evidence” against the accused was a tiny DNA sample where the odds of it belonging to the accused were in the order of 2,500 to 1. I may be wrong and will stand duly corrected if someone can provide the correct figures.

    Some years ago there was a TV programme shot in the USA. It dealt with DNA profiles in a particular area of the USA. It was found that something like 10 people in one area had (as near as damn it) “identical”? DNA profiles. It was speculated that this was as a result of in-breeding over the centuries. If this is true generally of DNA evidence, it calls into question its reliability.

    Also, after the Barry George disaster where an innocent man was wrongfully convicted on the basis of a speck of brass in his pocket I have come to view forensic traces as highly suspect.

    If (repeat IF) the DNA was the only evidence against the accused in this case, I would not have convicted him either.

    I congratulate the police on what must be an enormously difficult case. Let us trust that one day the b*st*rd who did this is caught and gets an appropriate punishment (inside prison)!

  3. Stephen Slominski
    January 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Yes this must be a blow to the Family and all the officers who put in so many hours.
    I don’t believe the police are in the business of ‘fitting up’ an innocent man – but as you say Peter, they don’t always get it right and you have to convince the jury that the accused is guilty beyond reasonable doubt and the case which was presented clearly fell short of that.
    It’s easy to criticise but you can see how the prosecution was able to argue that the evidence was largely circumstantial.
    It was a long complex investigation which seemed to lead up a lot of blind alleys- perhaps the time taken to investigate the ‘usual suspects’ – ex cons, foreigners, strangers in town – lost them crucial time?
    The Police seemed to have to rely on annual ‘publicity stunts’ to try and jog memories and flush out new info. The last one at Oakwood Copse was after an item had been found – this was some distance away from the escape route accused was subsequently alleged to have taken.
    I got there late for the press call incidentally, and everyone had packed up and gone home! It was terrifying stumbling around the deserted copse!
    Oakwood Copse -terrifying
    It’s frightening to think there is a vicious murderer still at large.
    What kind of person can torture another human being with a vegetable knife and then kill them?
    The police say a Murder case is never closed – the Operation Columbian pages on the constabulary website have been taken down (presumably for the Trial). Hope to see them back up again soon.
    I am also interested how much the operation – said by Hampshire Constabulary to be their biggest murder investigation to date – cost in total? Trips abroad, loads of posters and leaflets printed up etc…

  4. Peter Stewart
    January 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Surely the murderer MUST have left plenty of DNA evidence. If not, why not?

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