Police scour tip for murder weapon

POLICE are expected to start searching Pebsham tip on Monday in a bid to find the murder weapon used to kill popular businessman Michael Willard.

Thursday, 13th March 2003, 11:49 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:19 pm

The weapon, believed to be a knife with a six-inch blade, was used to kill the 63-year-old when he was stabbed in the back at his Target Scaffolding and Plant Hire firm on Caves Road on January 10.

They also hope to find the killer's coat. Both items may have been dumped in bins at a local supermarket and then taken to the tip, off Bexhill Road, on February 11.

The dig is set to take up to four weeks as a team of investigators rummage through an area 50 metres square by three metres deep - about the size of half a football pitch.

The work will involve digging up waste, and police say the area may give off unpleasant smells for short periods of time during the operation.

Detective sergeant Paul Sellings, who is part of the Operation Granary team investigating Mr Willard's murder, said police will bring in independent consultants to make sure the work is carried out in line with environmental guidelines.

Pebsham site manager Ian Tridgell said: "The landfill site covers an area of 25 hectares and accepts around 850 tonnes of waste every day, so trying to recover any individual item can be very challenging. However, we are giving the police our full co-operation and because of our environmental safeguards we can tell with some accuracy where items disposed of an a specific day are buried.

Access to the tip for members of the public will not be affected by the investigation.