Kettering murder investigation team praised

Police investigating after the murder of John Kiernan
Police investigating after the murder of John Kiernan

The police team who brought Haslam and Windle to justice were awarded a High Court judge’s commendation for the complex investigation over Mr Kiernan’s murder.

Haslam confessed to a group of fellow heroin addicts soon after he had tied up and murdered him but it was not until almost two weeks later that officers found his body.

Mr Justice Henriques said: “This was a very fine investigation. Mistakes were made but not in the investigation of the robbery and murder.

“It depended on a great deal of research.

“I am anxious the officers should receive the appropriate judicial commendation.”

Detective Chief Inspector Steve Woliter led the investigation team with Dc Dick Eady, DI Louise Hemingway, DC Julia McInally and Dc Jon Brinkman.

The judge added: “It was a very thorough investigation and I will be writing a personal note to the Chief Constable commending the officers’ dedication and hard work which has so well served the public of this county.”

The jury heard during the trial how Haslam confessed to tying up and robbing Mr Kiernan the day after he was murdered to Louise Wall, 32, whose home he and Windle were staying in at the time.

Haslam had accused her partner Levoy Berry, 31, of being responsible for the murder.

Miss Wall gave evidence against her former friend, stating she was not covering up for her husband and said the reason she was prepared to give evidence was because Haslam “had done wrong.”

Mr Justice Henriques said: “It seems to me Louise Wall displayed some tremendous courage in the way she gave evidence. So many parts of her evidence were actually confirmed by other evidence in this case. She was obviously telling the truth in the most difficult circumstances.

“I am going to write to the High Sheriff, not to give her a financial reward but I will ask him to write to her commending her courage and the public spirited way she gave key evidence.”

DCI Steve Woliter, who led the investigation, said: “Mr Kiernan was a vulnerable and lonely man who was targeted by Phillip Haslam in August and September 2011, repeatedly burgling his house.

“He used fear and violence to steal money from Mr Kiernan to fund his spiralling drug and alcohol habit.

“On 19 September 2011, when Mr Kiernan tried to resist Phillip Haslam’s demands and threats, he was ultimately subjected to a brutal and savage attack where he was tied up and beaten to death.

“I welcome today’s sentence which resulted in Haslam being sentenced to life imprisonment. My thoughts are with Mr Kiernan’s family during what has been a difficult year.

“Whilst horrendous cases like this are rare, the sentence today shows that those who commit crime will be bought to justice.”