Retired detective honoured after helping solve historical Bradford murder case

A retired detective from Avon and Somerset who helped crack a 1994 Bradford murder has been recognised with a prestigious Chief Constables Award.

Amy Shepherd was strangled and murdered at her sheltered accommodation in Folly Hall Gardens in Wibsey in 1994.

Despite extensive enquiries, the murder of the 86-year-old remained un-detected but in 2018 cold case detectives from West Yorkshire Police took another look.

Advances in DNA profiling since the murder helped detectives to identify a suspect but they could find no other evidence to strengthen their case.

Enquiries led them to Avon and Somerset as they tried to trace a retired officer who it was thought could assist.

They knew a DC 488 Watts had been the officer in the case for a crime which made the pages of the Western Gazette in April 1977 when a 77-year-old lady was robbed.

They knew they needed to trace ‘DC Watts’ but knew nothing more about them – even if the retired officer was a man or woman.

But the appeal worked with the former DC 488 Brian Watts coming forward. He remembered the case well.

He then helped in the case against the suspect – Raymond Kay – by providing evidence used in the trial about how the assault in 1977 was very similar to the assault on Amy, resulting in a conviction.

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