Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Detective - We Will Never Give Up Hunt; POLICE NO CLOSER TO FINDING THE KILLER, SAYS OFFICER

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Detective - We Will Never Give Up Hunt; POLICE NO CLOSER TO FINDING THE KILLER, SAYS OFFICER

Article excerpt

Byline: SOPHIE DOUGHTY Crime Reporter sophie.doughty@ncjmedia.co.uk @Sophie_Doughty

THE detective leading the hunt for John 'The Badge' Roberts' killer has admitted the case keeps her awake at night.

Det Chief Insp Lisa Theaker has been a senior investigating officer (SIO) with Northumbria Police for six years and has brought some of Tyneside's most brutal killers to justice.

But she confesses that John's murder is one of the most baffling mysteries she has worked on - and still has no idea why he was killed.

Now, five years after John's body was found, Det Chief Insp Theaker has warned his killer or killers it is only a matter of time before police come knocking on their door.

She said: "Your unsolved murders are the ones that always keep you awake at night and it is very frustrating.

"But is only a matter of time before we find out who's responsible. And we won't give up until we do."

John's body was found on the evening of Sunday, December 16, 2012 when officers on patrol in Winlaton noticed the door to his Park Terrace home had been left open and went to investigate.

He was last seen alive the previous Thursday, on CCTV visiting his local bookies.

A murder probe was launched and is one of the biggest detectives at Northumbria Police have ever worked on.

But the team's task was made more difficult by the fact John had lived an isolated life in the years before he died, and there was no obvious motive for the murder.

"This is a unique case because John didn't use a mobile phone and he was isolated," Det Chief Insp Theaker explained.

"So to understand what his lifestyle was like and who he associated with has been difficult."

Dad-of-one John, who earned his nickname selling pin-badges outside the Tyneside Irish Centre, was a lifelong Newcastle United supporter. His picture was given to thousands of fans at St James' Park as police probed the theory supporters could hold the key to solving the murder. …

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