Old-fashion detective work sees pensioner murderer found guilty

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A Leicetershire man has been found guilty of murdering a pensioner after police found his DNA on a cupboard drawer. 

Appearing at Stafford Crown Court, Jason Wilsher, 20, was found guilty by a jury of the murder of 87-year-old, Arthur Gumbley and conspiracy to commit robbery in November 2017.

The jury heard how a DNA sample was found on a drawer handle in the bedroom and had a probability of 860 million to one that it belonged to Wilsher.

Detective Chief Inspector Dan Ison, said: “I am pleased that the jury has returned this verdict, but our first thoughts are with Arthur and his family. 

“This was a planned and totally unnecessary attack on an 87-year-old man in his own home. 

“The injuries sustained by Arthur were brutal and horrific. 

“Arthur had his eye blacked and his arms were covered in bruising. He also suffered a number of fractured ribs likely to have been caused from a fall or a blow.” 

The court heard how Arthur had died of his injuries following a violent burglary at his home in Endwood Drive, Little Aston, Staffordshire on November 21, 2017.

He was taken to hospital with serious injuries but, following a filmed appeal to find information on the attack, he died three weeks later on December 12.

It is believed that he was dragged across the carpet resulting in burns to his back, punched in the face and kicked in the shoulder. 

His watch was also forcibly pulled off his wrist tearing his skin. 

Arthur’s bungalow was ransacked by offenders pulling out draws and upturning beds.

Police were only called after he managed to plug in a phone line the offenders had pulled out and phone his daughter who then contacted the police. 

A pathologist concluded that the cause of his death was blunt force injuries and other cardiac issues as a direct result of the attack. 

Led by Detective Chief Inspector Dan Ison, detectives from Staffordshire Police’s Major and Organised Crime department began the job of tracking down those responsible and organised televised appeals, including a slot on BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow. 

Following a four-month long study of CCTV detectives placed a blue Mazda RX8 in the area of the burglary and another offence in Derbyshire. 

The car was caught on nearby CCTV speeding towards and away from a farm north of Mansfield. 

It was found burnt out later that evening in a country lane. 

Detectives found out it had been sold privately in London and telephone numbers involved in the sale led to Wilsher’s family members. 

On 25 November 2017, three masked men knocked on the door and Dennis Taylor, was confronted by the men who forced their way inside and assaulted him, knocking him down and punching him while demanding to know where he kept money. 

Mr Taylor’s head was repeatedly struck on a hearth and he was hit with a baseball bat, and a knife pushed through his lip.

Before the men ransacked his house and demanded the code for his safe. They made off with jewellery and £800 in cash. 

DCI Ison described the investigation as complex and far-reaching, he added: “It’s the result of good old-fashioned policing. 

“Detectives worked meticulously and doggedly to trace the car and then work through thousands of hours of CCTV and phone records and questioning to be able to arrive at Wilsher as a suspect.

“It was months of hard work that identified him and it is startling that the science of DNA proves effectively Wilsher is the only man in Europe who could’ve contributed to the sample found at Arthurs home.” 

Wilsher will be sentenced at Stafford Crown Court tomorrow (22 March). 

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