Gloucestershire

Forest of Dean Shaun James murder CCTV images released

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Media captionPolice release images of a white van seen shortly after the killing of a builder from the Forest of Dean.

CCTV images of a white van have been released on the 12th anniversary of a Forest of Dean builder who was murdered in an apparent hit and run crash.

Shaun James was deliberately run down in Cinderford on 15 December, 2002 shortly after leaving his local pub.

Det Ch Insp Steve Porter said the van was filmed straight after the killing.

The footage was uncovered in a cold case review of the evidence, which has led police to now believe Mr James was kidnapped before he was murdered.

"The van is a similar to a type described by several witnesses seen in Valley Road and also leaving Steam Mills Road where Shaun's body was found," said Det Ch Insp Porter.

Van 'parked up'

At the time of Mr James' death, police believed he had been killed in an accident, before the driver fled the scene.

However, the force is now working on the theory the father-of-two was bundled into the white van before being taken to a lane off Steam Mills Road and deliberately driven over and killed.

The CCTV images show the van in Cinderford High Street and the Co-op car park on Dockham Road, between 19:00 and 19:30 on the night of the murder.

Image copyright Gloucestershire Constabulary
Image caption Shaun James was a father of two and worked as a builder in the Forest of Dean

"We've meticulously gone through each frame and we've come up with a white, what looks like a white Ford transit van, which appears in Cinderford town centre shortly after Shaun's body was found," Det Ch Insp Porter continued.

"This van makes a couple of manoeuvres before parking up in a car park and then leaving the town centre about 20 minutes later.

"We'd really like the driver of the van or if anybody knows the driver of the van to please come forward so we can ask them what they were doing in Cinderford that night."

'Tight-knit community'

Since a BBC Crimewatch appeal on December 4, over 50 calls have been made to police relating to the 32-year-old's death, several of which were described as "interesting".

"We've had a number of calls from anonymous people saying that Cinderford being the small tight-knit community that it is, they're concerned coming forward with further information and giving their name," added Det Ch Insp Porter.

"We've got trained detectives in the incident room that are used to dealing with this type of information."

To mark the anniversary of Mr James' death, his family held a memorial service at his grave earlier.

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