Video: Police renew their appeal one year on from murder of James Attfield

James Attfield, who was murdered in Colchester, pictured with a picture frame

James Attfield, who was murdered in Colchester, pictured with a picture frame - Credit: Archant

Anyone with information about the murder of James Attfield is being asked to “test their conscience” one year on from his death.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron - Credit: Archant

Mr Attfield, 33, died on a riverside path close to Colchester’s Lower Castle Park after being stabbed more than 100 times overnight between March 28-29 last year.

His mother, Julie Finch, has said she is gradually coming to terms with her son’s death, but wants to know why he died – and admitted she struggled on Mothers’ Day.

Essex Police is planning a day of activity throughout today and tonight in a bid to remind everyone of the murder, and encourage witnesses to come forward.

A dedicated web page has also been launched on the force’s site with relevant CCTV and witness appeals.

This pair have not yet come forward, and police think they could be key witnesses.

This pair have not yet come forward, and police think they could be key witnesses. - Credit: Archant

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron, who is leading the investigation, said: “This remains a priority investigation for the major crimes team in Essex, with more than 100,000 hours of officer and staff time spent on it.

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“I want everyone to remember that James was tragically murdered a year ago.

“We continue to look for the man and a woman seen on a bench at 11.30pm, who are yet to come forward, and a woman who was in contact with James on Facebook in the weeks prior to his death.

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“James’ family have had to come to terms with a terrible tragedy and are working really hard to rebuild their lives, but they still want – and deserve – answers. There remains no clear motive.

Julie Finch, mother of murdered James Attfield

Julie Finch, mother of murdered James Attfield - Credit: Archant

“I am clear in my own mind there are people out there who do hold information that could help us to find the killer or killers.

“They may feel embarrassed at the amount of time that has passed, but I do not seek to judge them. Maybe they are embarrassed because they should not have been where they were that night for personal reasons, and we will deal with that sensitively.

“There are perhaps those who hay have heard people involved talking and feel a sense of allegiance to them. I ask them to test their conscience.”

Forensic tests have been carried out on 140 knives recovered during the investigation, with all of them being ruled out, and 850 witnesses interviewed, while 550 pieces of CCTV have been reviewed in a bid to piece together Mr Attfield’s last movements.

Mr Worron added: “I remain confident we will catch those responsible and we are absolutely committed.

“It is extremely unusual to be 12 months on from a murder in a public place where no-one has been charged and taken to court, and that does bring with it some challenges.

“We will continue to review the information and look at it with a fresh set of eyes, and I believe the answer lies within the community.”

Speaking about life after the tragedy Ms Finch said: “It was very hard at first, but gradually you have to carry on. You have to pay the bills and do the things you have always done, and time is a great healer.

“Mothers’ Day was difficult. That was the last time I saw Jim, as i had to identify his body on Mothers’ Day, and that will always be difficult.

“I want everyone to think back. Have they heard some gossip or a rumour? It doesn’t matter, come forward and let the police decide if it is just gossip.

“There’s only question I have – why? I try not to think too much about what actually happened, but I want to know why.

“Jim kept himself to himself, so I find it so hard to understand why anybody would want to hurt him.

“I am still confident, definitely, that someone will be brought to justice.”

A Crimestoppers’ reward of £10,000 for information which leads to the conviction of someone for Mr Attfield’s death has been extended by a further three months.

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