Fresh appeal to catch killer on loose five years after grandmother’s death

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POLICE investigating the killing in 2008 of an 81-year-old grandmother have launched a fresh appeal for information.

Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of Lea Brooke’s death in an arson attack as she slept at her home in Sandal Grange Farm, Walton Lane, Wakefield, in the early hours of November 10, 2008.

White spirit was poured through her letter box and set alight.

Detectives remain convinced the grandmother of 12, who never got to meet her first great-grandchild, was the victim of mistaken identity.

Senior investigating officer Det Supt David Pervin said: “The murder of Lea Brooke left a gaping hole in the lives of her family and even though they have tried to move on it still remains.

“This Sunday marks five years since Lea’s death and I would hope anyone who has information about her death and did not come forwards, for whatever reason, will think of Lea this weekend and now come and speak to us.”

He added: “The forensic evidence obtained from the scene leave us in no doubt that this was a malicious act of arson resulting in Lea’s death.

“Enquiries are still active and I can promise this is a case that will never close until Lea’s killer is caught.

“Often in such enquiries police receive information that leads to the arrest of a killer years after a murder has occurred. I would appeal to anyone who has information to assist in this murder enquiry and say to them it is never too late to come forward.”

A reconstruction was broadcast on BBC’s Crimewatch but no new significant witnesses came forward. One theory is that the arsonists were targeting Mrs Brooke’s son, Howard Brooke who ran a construction business and often stayed at his mother’s isolated home.

In March 2011, CCTV camera footage of an arson attack Just after 9pm on Sunday, August 31, 2008, at a nearby property on Milnthorpe Green, Sandal was released by police.

Call Det Supt Pervin with information on 101.

Or call Crimestoppers, anonymously and in confidence, on 0800 555111.