03-14-2013, 02:01 PM #1
UK - Lee Balkwell, 33, crushed by cement mixer, South Ockendon, 18 July 2002
Body of man crushed by cement mixer to be exhumed by detectives (Guardian)
Police mount new inquiry into death of Lee Balkwell in
2002 after failings were found in original investigation
The body of a man who was crushed to death by a cement mixer is to be exhumed by detectives who have been forced to mount a new inquiry into his death after pressure from relatives who believe he was murdered.
Over the past 11 years the death of Lee Balkwell, 33, in July 2002 has been the subject of an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission and a review by one of the country's leading homicide detectives. It is now subject to a new investigation led by officers from the Kent and Essex serious crime directorate after failings in the original investigation were identified.
In a major development in the inquiry, detectives are to exhume the body of Balkwell from Corbets Tay cemetery in Upminster later this month as they pursue evidence which was not developed in the hours after the death.
"We welcome this decision but we wish it had been done some time ago," said Les Balkwell. "What I want the police to look for is marks on his bones that might indicate he was stabbed and marks on his arms that could indicate he was tortured."
Balkwell, a haulage driver, was found mangled between the drum and chassis of a concrete mixer lorry on 18 July 2002 by emergency crews who were called to a concrete firm on a farm in Essex in the early hours of the morning. The farm was owned by a family who are known to police for drugs and firearms offences.
03-14-2013, 02:43 PM #2---
It is hoped “articles” buried with Lee may also provide fresh clues for detectives.
West Midlands Police made a recommendation, kept secret by Essex Police, to exhume Lee’s body more than three years ago following its independent probe into the Essex investigation.
more: Body of Lee Balkwell will be exhumed - died in Upminster farm 10 years ago (Romford Recorder)
03-14-2013, 03:41 PM #3
I wonder what the "articles" are?"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you!"
The above post is my opinion and my opinion only. Please do not copy and past to other forums.
12-23-2016, 01:40 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2014
Lee Balkwell death: Essex Police pays Hornchurch family Ł40,000 in damages and chief constable under investigation - December
Essex Police has apologised to the family of a man found dead in a cement mixer and paid out Ł40,000 in damages, 14 years after his death.
The force has accepted liability for a series of flaws into the investigation of Lee Balkwell’s death, who was found dead at a farm in Dennises Lane, Upminster, in 2002.
The Recorder can also reveal Lee’s father, Les, has received letters notifying him that Stephen Kavanagh, the chief constable of Essex police, has been served with notice of a misconduct investigation into his handling of complaints over the death of the 33-year-old son.Les, of Hornchurch, has been fighting for justice since 2002, always maintaining his son was murdered by an organised criminal gang.
Speaking to the Recorder, Les said: “It was never about money, it’s about getting to the truth behind my son’s murder.
“It’s a really significant day and I would be elated if it wasn’t connected to the death of my son who I still miss every day.”
Les also confirmed a team of retired senior police officers, formally of the Metropolitan Police, are now going through all the evidence that has been disclosed in a bid to find the answers the 70-year-old still strives for.
Last month, the High Court ruled Essex Police must disclose original police documents to Les and his advisers.
Timeline of tragedy
AN INQUEST found that Lee Balkwell was cleaning dried cement from the inside of a cement mixer late at night in July 2002 when his employer entered the cab to rotate it.
For reasons unknown, Lee decided to get out while it was turning and was killed.
Police and ambulance crews were called at 1am but the IPCC later found there were serious failings with the way the case was handled.
Investigating officers failed to collect clothes and other items from people at the scene.
The IPCC also found statements were not taken, no phone records were obtained and that police had failed to be “open-minded” about Lee’s death.
Essex Police issued a full apology to Mr Balkwell's family, opening the way the for the lawsuit.
Detectives launched a covert murder enquiry in 2005 but found no evidence to support a theory that Lee was killed due to a “domestic” issue.
His body was exhumed in March 2013 for a new post mortem and so that police could examine a phone that was buried with him.
In October 2014, Simon Bromley was cleared of manslaughter but found guilty of failing to ensure the health and safety of Mr Balkwell.
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