A SENIOR Cheshire police officer has said the force are “incredibly sorry” for not arriving in time to spare Jock Straiton the savage beating he suffered at the hands of his killers.
A total of six calls were made to police by Mr Straiton and his neighbours. But officers did not arrive at Park Road, Winnington until he had suffered a fractured nose, arm and cheekbone, three broken ribs, damaged vertebrae and a brain haemorrhage. They found him lying in a pool of blood on the pavement.
A female neighbour called 999 twice, once telling the operator “something quite nasty’s going off”. But, like Mr Straiton, she was told to ring her local police station because of the high volume of emergency calls received on the morning of Saturday, July 26.
After Nigel Goolding and Joshua Spruce were locked up for a minimum of 15 years for murder at Chester Crown Court today, Friday, assistant chief constable Garry Shewan spoke out.
He said: “It was a very busy night for Cheshire Police. At that time police were attending 21 different incidents, some of them were very serious and obviously Jock’s was serious.
“The problem was that meant taking officers away from incidents and that caused a delay - and we got there too late.
“Cheshire Police are incredibly sorry.”
After the guilty verdicts were delivered yesterday, police dispelled the notion proffered by Paul Blower’s defence counsel that teenager Craig Douglas, part of the group outside Sandybank Flats on the fateful night, was the third attacker alongside Goolding and Spruce.
Investigating officer Det Insp Helen Spooner said: “The case file is closed and there is no evidence to support anyone else being involved.”