In the Media

Top detective to re-examine Essex concrete-mixer death of Lee Balkwell

PUBLISHED December 14, 2009

Family believe that 33-year-old was murdered and there was a police cover-up.

Sandra Laville The Observer, Sunday 13 December 2009 Article historyOne of Britain's most senior murder squad detectives has been called in to re-examine the bizarre death of a man crushed in a concrete-mixer lorry seven years ago, following claims that the original inquiry was flawed.

Detective Chief Superintendent Dave Mirfield, head of the major crime unit at West Midlands police, is to examine the files on the death of Lee Balkwell after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) expressed serious concerns over the handling of the inquiry by Essex police. Essex police concluded that Mr Balkwell had died in a tragic accident, but his father suspected foul play and believed there had been a cover-up.

The appointment of Mirfield, who successfully led one of the most difficult murder inquiries in recent times ??? into the gunning down in 2003 of Letisha Shakespeare and Charlene Ellis in Birmingham ??? has been welcomed by sources within the IPCC, whose request for a full reinvestigation by an outside force was refused by Essex police.