‘Excellent response’ to Crimewatch TV murder appeal

PUBLISHED: 12:18 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 15:24 31 May 2013

Thomas Ward was fatally shot five days after the birth of his daughter Lilly

Thomas Ward was fatally shot five days after the birth of his daughter Lilly


DETECTIVES hoping to track down a Hatfield man in relation to a murder have had an “excellent response” to a TV appeal.

Police are searching for John ‘John Boy’ Ward, 32, and his pregnant wife, Joleen Josie Ward, after the fatal shooting of Thomas Ward in Stevenage.

John Boy is slain Thomas’ second cousin and both he and his wife lived at Clarkson Court, Hatfield.

He is wanted on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and his 21 year old wife is wanted on suspicion of assisting an offender.

BBC’s Crimewatch aired an appeal last night (Thursday) in a bid to help officers find the couple, who may have fled to Europe.

Detective chief inspector Sharn Basra, who is leading the investigation, said: “We had an excellent response to our appeals for information last night and I would like to thank all those who made contact. We are now looking at a number of further lines of inquiry.

“However, our appeals for information on the whereabouts of John Boy and Joleen Josie Ward continue.

“We believe the couple left the country in the days after the murder and may be in Europe.

“However, they do both have links to North London. I would urge anyone who knows where they are to contact the police incident room or Crimestoppers.”

Thomas died after three men attacked his caravan on the evening of April 23.

As the 21 year old came out of the caravan he was shot in the chest, just yards from his family.

His wife and five day old child were inside his home.

Thomas then ran from the caravan before being found by his family, unconscious in nearby undergrowth.

He later died in hospital.

Officers are also searching for information about three vehicles believed to be connected to the shooting.

The cars include a white Audi, which was displaying a cloned registration RV59 HSK.

This vehicle was seen in convoy with a white Volkswagen Golf ten minutes before the murder.

The third vehicle is a black Mercedes C250.

John Boy is believed to have used this vehicle to leave the home in Hatfield before driving to Barnet, north London after the shooting in the early hours of April 24.

DCI Basra added: “We have since recovered the white Audi but would appeal for anyone who saw this vehicle on the night of the murder, and any of the other vehicles mentioned since that evening to contact police.

“Those involved in Thomas’ murder should be brought to justice and I would urge anyone with any information which can assist our investigation to contact police or Crimestoppers immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 01707 355666.

A reward of up to £5,000 is being offered by Crimestoppers for information as part of the investigation.

The reward will be given to anyone who provides the independent charity with information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons linked to the incident.

Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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