THE team of police officers who hunted and convicted businesswoman Jill Hibberd's killer have been presented with judge's commendations.
South Yorkshire Police's Major Crime Unit (MCU) were recognised for their work into the case of Ms Hibberd (73), who was stabbed more than 70 times in her home on Roy Kilner Road, Wombwell, on the night of May 30, 2018.
The commendations were recently awarded to senior investigating officers Det Chief Insp Jude Ashmore, Det Sgts Ben Wood and Gary Pick, Det Cons Steve Robinson, Stephen Cartlidge, Darren Sleep and Michelle Hardy and Karen Jackson by Det Chief Sup James Abdy.
Lee Fueloep (40), formerly of Wombwell was arrested for Ms Hibberd's murder and jailed for life with a minimum term of 35 years in December last year.
Mr Jude Ashmore, who was the senior investigating officer on the case, said neighbours had discovered Ms Hibberd's body the morning after the attack, lying on the living room floor.
They had become concerned after seeing a light on in her home and the fact her car, a red Audi TT was missing from the driveway and she was found inside stabbed.
"On attending the property, we found there were clear signs indicating a disturbance had taken place and it appeared the victim had been moved to the position in which she was found, in order to hide her from view of the window," Mr Ashmore said.
“The ornamental curtains in the living room window also had blood staining on and it appeared efforts had been made by the offender to close them. In addition to this, the living room rug appeared to have been moved to hide the majority of the blood on the floor, as a result of Ms Hibberd being stabbed more than 70 times."
Mr Ashmore revealed that forensic swabs were taken from the victim’s ankles and the curtains and were submitted for fast-track analysis. When the forensics came back they were found to match that of Fueloep, who was subsequently arrested for murder.
Fueloep denied the killing but was convicted following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court.
Following the judge's awards presentation, Mr Ashmore said: “It was an excellent team effor, but thanks also go to Barnsley district officers and staff within MCU who ensured a thorough investigation which led to this result for the victim’s family.
“I would also like to thank the CCTV coordinator Det Con Sonia Keeble, the family liaison officers Det Cons Lisa Kramer and Simon Taylor, as well as the Major Crime Unit Intelligence Development Team."