Praise for house fire murder probe

Praise for house fire murder probe
Police Officers receive commendations

PCs Hayley Keen and Christopher Lane, Sergeant Martin Kennet, Detective Constables Michelle James, Bradley Shingles and Clare Lockwood, and Detective Sergeant Murray Tester were all recognised by Kent’s Chief Constable, Alan Pughsley.

On 17 November 2018 officers were called to a house fire in Spitfire Road, where 65-year-old Jacqueline Allen lost her life.

Enquiries revealed the fire was deliberate, and had been started by 51-year-old Simon Child, the ex-partner of the victim’s daughter.

Despite protesting his innocence, he was unanimously convicted following a three-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court in May last year, and sentenced to a minimum of 32 years’ imprisonment.

Childs was found to have taken fuel containers from a shed and started a fire in a lean-to next to the kitchen, using petrol.

A child was also in the property, and managed to escape the blaze by jumping from a first-floor window. She was treated for a leg injury and smoke inhalation.

Childs was arrested at a nearby address in Hurricane Close, and was later charged with murder and attempted murder.

Investigators uncovered evidence that on the day of the fire Childs had threatened to set alight a caravan belonging to a man he suspected of having a relationship with the former partner.

He was heard threatening to ‘burn the house down’ and was responsible for dozens of abusive messages and phone calls demanding to know where she was.

According to a spokesperson, all seven officers ‘played a vital role in securing the scene, gathering evidence and helping to put forward a thorough and compelling case to be presented in court’. 

Chief Constable Pughsley said: “We have an incredible team here at Kent Police, full of officers and staff who go the extra mile when putting victims at the heart of what they do, and though the work brings many challenges it is also extremely rewarding.

“Being able to present these awards for acts of unbelievable bravery and courage is one of the best parts of my job, and right now there has never been a better time to join the Kent Police family as we are recruiting new officers and staff into a variety of roles, all with the aim of providing a first-class service to the people of Kent.”

Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter