Following a five-year investigation into the disappearance of Thomas Groome, a 56-year-old woman is finally behind bars starting a 16-year prison sentence for his manslaughter, even though the location of Mr Groome’s body remains unknown.
June Buttle of Doncaster Town Centre, appeared at Sheffield Crown Court last week and admitted to killing her partner Mr Groome in January, 2010, aswell as entering guilty pleas to conspiracy to prevent a burial and fraud against the Thomas Groome estate.
Mr Groome was 53-years-old when he was last seen on New Year’s Day morning 2010 as he left his sons’ home in Thorne, Doncaster.
He was reported missing by his family a few weeks into the New Year and police began to investigate his disappearance.
A murder investigation was launched in 2012 and Buttle was initially arrested in March 2013 on suspicion of murder.
She was charged in September 2014 and the case was set to go to trial, however Buttle later admitted to her involvement in the death of Mr Groome, along with the two other charges, and her guilty plea to manslaughter was accepted.
Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Lisa Ray said: “This investigation has been very challenging due to the passage of time and the loss of conventional investigative opportunities, however I am very pleased with this result and our achievement to bring Buttle before the courts and to secure a conviction against her.
“My thoughts are with the family of Mr Groome, and while there will still be untold grief for them because of Buttle’s actions, I hope today they do feel some sense of justice has been served knowing that she has been sentenced for her crimes.”
Mr Groome’s family have issued the following statement:
“Thomas Groome, known to his family as Tommy was a much loved Dad, Son, Brother, Grandad, Uncle and partner. We love and miss him so much. He was a larger than life character who loved to travel and sing on the karaoke.
“On the 1st January 2010 we said goodbye to him not knowing that this was the last time that we would see and speak to him.
“Throughout the last five years, we have hoped and prayed that Tommy was still alive but our worst fears became a reality when we were told that Tommy had been killed.
“However his body has still not been found. We are devastated that we have been unable to lay him to rest in a place where we can visit and remember him and give him the funeral that he deserves.
“June Buttle was welcomed into our family as the partner of Tommy. She spent the last five years lying about the whereabouts of Tommy leading us to believe that he was still alive when all along she knew what had happened to him. She is heartless and cruel and we will never forgive her.
“We would like to thank everyone who has been involved or assisted in the investigation into the disappearance of Tommy. This includes the Police in Ireland, Portugal and South Yorkshire. Without them, we would never have known what happened to Tommy.
“June Buttle has now been sent to prison. We still have to live with the pain of not knowing where his body is.”
- See more at: http://www.southyorks.police.uk/news-syp/doncaster-woman-sentenced-killing-missing-man-thomas-groome#sthash.Fh6QJ1yg.dpuf