21 April 2023 14:00 Determined Bromley detective solves 13-year-old burglary DC James Quigley, investigator, said: “ I just hope it shows the public that we don’t give up – no matter how much time has passed.”

A burglar has been sentenced for an offence he committed 13 years ago after a determined officer went above and beyond to ensure he faced justice for the crime.

The aggravated burglary took place in September 2010 in Bromley, and had remained unsolved for years.

When, in 2018, a breakthrough in the case came in the form of a DNA link, officers were optimistic they would be able to secure a conviction for the historical offence. However, due to processes in place at the time of the offence, the original case file – containing vital evidence – had been shredded.

But undeterred, the original officer in the case, who was still working in the same unit, took it upon himself to carry out a re-investigation of the incident, acquiring sufficient evidence to enable the Crown Prosecution Service to charge.

While a DNA sample had been taken from the crime scene in 2010, it was of too poor quality to stand up to the testing of the time and eventually the case was closed, pending any further evidence coming to light.

Fast forward three years, and a man was arrested (and later charged) for possession of Cannabis in March 2013, and had his DNA taken.

Despite the fact the original case file paperwork for the burglary had been destroyed due to the length of time the case had remained unsolved, DNA taken from all crime scenes are retained in the hope of later suspect identification. As a result of advancements in forensics, in 2018 the DNA from the 2013 drugs arrest was found to be a match to the forensics recovered from the scene of the burglary.

Unfortunately DNA evidence alone was not enough in this case to secure a charge. But rather than giving up, DC James Quigley set about retrieving from his own records and electronic files he had retained on the case. These assisted him in obtaining new statements from the victim, witness details, E-fit evidence and other artefacts related to the offence.

The victim was subsequently able to identify the suspect in an ID parade, and this in addition to the DNA evidence was enough for the CPS to authorise a charge.

The aggravated burglary was a particularly nasty offence, with the victim still so traumatised she had to give her evidence via video link. The suspect had broken into the property and was looking through the upstairs bedrooms when he was disturbed by the victim returning home. He ran down the stairs towards the terrified victim who noticed he wore socks on his hands and was brandishing a screw driver. He then grabbed her and placed his hand over her mouth and nose, threatened her with the screwdriver and shouted: “Shut up! Don’t say anything! I know you! I know your lad! I’ll come back for you and your little boy! Don’t say anything or tell anyone anything!” Luckily the suspect was then further disturbed by a friend of the victim ringing the door bell, and he ran out the back door, leaving the victim physically unharmed.

Detective Constable James Quigley, investigator, said: “I had remembered this offence well and was always disappointed that we’d not managed to catch anyone for it, knowing the significant impact the incident had had on the victim.

“So when we were given a second chance at it thanks to the great strides taken by scientists working in the area of DNA, I knew I had to do everything possible to secure justice. And the small matter of a destroyed file wasn’t going to stop me. I just hope it shows the public that we don’t give up – no matter how much time has passed.”

+ Wayne Taylor, 68 (06.03.55) of Sedgehill Road SE6 was convicted on 6 August 2021 for burglary dwelling with intent to steal. On Friday, 14 April he was given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years.