Police search reservoirs for gun that killed Jimmy Millen

Jimmy Millen Junior, Michelle Millen and DCI Nick May at Clive Vale reservoir, Hastings
Jimmy Millen Junior, Michelle Millen and DCI Nick May at Clive Vale reservoir, Hastings

AN UNDERWATER police search team is sifting through the murky waters of two fishing lakes to find the gun that may have killed Jimmy Millen a decade ago.

The week-long operation started this morning at Clive Vale reservoirs off Harold Road, Hastings and was watched by Millen’s widow Michelle and son Jimmy Junior.

Detectives are acting on information they received and are hopeful they can find the handgun that was used to murder Millen in October 2001.

The 27-year-old was working on his car on the Tilekiln estate when two men on a motorbike drove past and fired several shots leaving him for dead. He died from his injuries in the Conquest Hospital.

At the time, police linked Millen’s death with the disappearance of another man in the town, Jason Martin-Smith, originally from Camberley, Surrey.

But 11 years on, there have been no witnesses or leads for police to follow up.

Mrs Millen has been critical of the police investigation claiming a lack of action because he was known to the police.

A £10,000 reward for information was offered by the force and is still valid.

Speaking at the scene of the search today, Mrs Millen said: “It’s been a nightmare.

“It’s been a mix of emotions - I can’t really explain.

“I’m just hoping they come up with something. I hope they can find what they are looking for so that we can move on.”

Jimmy Junior said: “We’re just happy that somebody came forward and hope more people can.

“If not for us but for the family.

“We want to know who did it.

“It’s been a long time. When we were told last week about the search we did not know if it was true.”

A team of up to 10 specialist underwater search officers will spend the week searching both reservoirs.

Any weapons found will be taken to the force’s ballistics experts for forensic examination.

The man leading the enquiry detective chief inspector Nick May said: “There are not many unresolved murder in Sussex but this is one of them.

“We do not know how long the gun has been in there. If we find a gun, it does not tell us who’s fired it.

“We don’t know who put it in there. But we can match the weapon to the bullet cartridges found at the scene.

“What we really need is someone to come forward with that information.

“I think it’s very likely people connected are still living in the town and I am quite confident there are people who know more than this and I would urge them to come forward.”