BARNSLEY’S police chief has praised his officers’ ‘tireless’ work which helped to lock four murderers up during an unprecedented month in the town.

Chief Superintendent Scott Green told the Chronicle three unconnected now-completed trials involving killers Justine Wainwright, Penelope Brownlie, Lee Fueloep and Ricky Ramsden had achieved the right results and backed the Barnsley-based officers who were responsible for putting evidence in each case together.

Clare Smith, Jill Hibberd and Dawid Szubert were all killed during a four-month spell from May, although none were linked, prompting police into action.

Miss Smith’s killers, Justine Wainwright, 58, and 45-year-old Penny Brownlie, were each given life sentences on November 16 and told they will spend a minimum of 26 years behind bars.
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They subjected Miss Smith to a brutal assault in a ground floor flat on Britannia Close, Barnsley, on May 18 before dumping her body just yards from the property and making a botched attempt to clean up the blood-stained flat.

Lee Fueloep, 40, was given a life sentence for the murder of Jill Hibberd, who sustained 70 stab wounds in her home on Roy Kilner Road, Wombwell, on May 30. He was told he will spend a minimum of 35 years in jail at his sentencing hearing on Monday.

Ricky Ramsden, 27, inflicted a fatal stamp on the head of unconscious spice user Dawid Szubert in Mandela Gardens, Barnsley town centre, on June 17. He was given a 17-year jail term last Thursday.

All four defendants denied murder, forcing three separate trials to take place at Sheffield Crown Court throughout November and December.

Chf Supt Green said: “In each case officers have worked tirelessly to achieve successful prosecutions and I must emphasise that three murders in such a short period of time is unprecedented.

“I said at the time that they were not linked and that’s obviously clear now, but I also said those responsible would be vigorously pursued.

“Each incident was utterly tragic and required quality investigations. Justice has been served and it’s a success for Barnsley’s neighbourhood policing model as officers managed to cope with the knock-on effect each investigation had during that busy spell.

“I’m really proud of everyone involved.”