Sunday, December 10, 2023

Purfleet attempt murder: Catch the “men” who did this

DETECTIVES are appealing for more information following the attempted murder of a delivery driver in Purfleet, and issued photographs of the victim in hospital. Anyone who can help is urged to make contact with police.

Self-employed driver David Fletcher, 58, from Upminster, remains in intensive care in hospital and has not regained consciousness. His injuries are extensive and are likely to be life changing.

Mr Fletcher, a father of three, was making a delivery to a house in Wood Avenue, Purfleet, just before 12.30pm on Tuesday, July 9 when two men jumped in to his Mercedes lorry and tried to drive off. He chased them and tried to grab hold of the keys through the driver’s window but was dragged along the road for approximately 10 metres before being thrown from the moving vehicle which then drove over him.

Officers have so far arrested a total of five men in connection with the investigation with two men aged 22 and 26 arrested last week from Purfleet. They have been released on police bail until September 20.

“>However detectives still need more information about this callous crime.

Det Chief Inspector Lucy Robinson from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is leading the investigation, codenamed Operation String. She said: “Despite having made progress in our enquiry, this is still very much a live investigation and we remain open minded as to who may be responsible for this horrendous crime. I am convinced the answer lies locally.

Someone out there will know who tried to steal that lorry and so cruelly left the victim for dead having run him over. I would urge anyone with any information to do the right thing and contact the Police.”

Police have issued a photograph of the Mercedes box lorry in the hope that it may jog the memory of people in the area who may remember seeing it and hold vital witness information which can help with the investigation.

DCI Robinson added: “I would also be interested to hear from anyone who was in the area of Wood Avenue, the social club known locally as the Fondue Club or the Bowls Club and the recreational area in front of those buildings at the end of the cul-de-sac of Wood Avenue. They may have seen something of assistance to us, a car or other small clue to help us identify these two men.”

Any witnesses who have not yet contacted police or anyone with information about events leading to the incident should call detectives on 01279 621802, email scdappeals@essex.police.pnn.police.ukor can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


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