The man who led the investigation into Glen Kitchens’ death says there is a feeling of ‘relief’ now the manslaughter trial of Jadon Jackson has concluded.
Speaking exclusively to the Worksop Guardian just moments after Jackson was found guilty, he said officers were initially presented with a ‘confused picture’ but that once thorough investigations had been carried out ‘we knew we were right’.
“There was a confused picture at first, involving accounts from various members of the public and in particular a group of young boys and girls,” said Det Insp Rob McKinnell.
“But as a result of witness interviews and the scrutinising of many hours of CCTV by an experienced officer, we were able to piece together what appeared to have happened.”
Det Insp McKinnell said the case could not have been solved without vital CCTV material from 36 town centre cameras, resulting in hours of footage.
He stressed that there was no criticism of the level of CCTV cover in Worksop.
“Whenever we have an investigation we will always seek to use modern technology. Does it capture everything? No. Is the quality always the best? No. But in this case it was crucial,” he said.
“Footage from both council cameras and business premises was vital to us and played an integral part of the investigation.”
He said the inquiry had been ongoing ever since Mr Kitchens’ death on Saturday 6th April, involving officers from Worksop right through to the homicide unit.
Even during the trial the investigation was evolving, with officers closely monitoring witness evidence scouring the body of CCTV for further clues.
Said Det Insp McKinnell: “I think the findings of the jury have reflected the through nature of this investigation - exploring all possible lines of inquiry we were able to, to best inform the jury of the circumstances around Glen’s death.”
He also acknowledged how hard it was for all the witnesses to take to the stand.
“To come to court, to stand up to scrutiny and give evidence under significant cross examination and for a long period of time was extremely brave,” he said.
“Whenever there is an incident like this it does impact on the various parties involved. For families that discover their own children have been caught up in something awful it is always difficult for them to gauge what is best in the interests of their children.”
“It was especially traumatic for Glen’s friends to stand up in court. They cradled their friend of many years who was dying in their arms, which is something that will live with them forever.”
“We, the police, don’t want to put anybody in a position where they have to do something. But we will always support the public to give their evidence if it is called upon.”
“There is clearly is a lot of relief that this trial is concluded and that the family can see the person responsible is being held to account.”
Finally, Det Insp McKinnell issued a stark warning.
He said: “This is a case of a single punch being thrown and unfortunately, as has been reflected here with Mr Kitchens, the consequences are massive.”
“They were devastating not only for him but his family, his friends and indeed the wider Worksop community - the impact of this rippled out from the town centre.”
He added: “This case highlights the problems that can be encountered if you are going to engage in anti-social behaviour, and that any such activity will be investigated and positive action taken.”
“For me it is a sign of how communities must not just accept trouble making. Action will always be taken against people who are going to be unruly and cause a disturbance.”