Police unable to verify ‘potential sightings’ of Hatfield student Joy due to CCTV footage expiring
PUBLISHED: 16:25 23 July 2019
Police were unable to fully corroborate potential sightings of a missing Hatfield student, believed to have been murdered, due to the short life span of CCTV footage – a court has heard.
University of Hertfordshire student Joy Morgan was 20 when she disappeared after attending a celebration at the Israel United in Christ church in Ilford, East London, on Boxing Day last year.
Shohfah-El Israel, 40, from Cricklewood, North London, is on trial for her alleged murder at Reading Crown Court.
On Monday, jurors were presented with facts relating to the trial that have been agreed between the prosecution and defence.
These detailed a number of "potential sightings" of Ms Morgan since her disappearance.
This included a report of a possible sighting of the student outside Golders Green Tube station in London on January 28 this year.
Jurors were informed that footage from cameras outside the station is only kept for 14 days, and cameras covering the station, for 30 days.
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By the time police enquired about footage on April 1 there was none available, the agreed facts document stated.
When police scoped the New Cross Road area on February 15 - following a possible sighting of Ms Morgan at a bus stop four days before - no footage was obtained, the jury were told.
There was a report of a potential sighting of Ms Morgan at a Sainsbury's supermarket in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, on February 16, but when police enquired about CCTV on April 1 they were told footage is only kept for 30 days.
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A Great Western Railway guard claimed to have possibly seen Ms Morgan at North Camp railway station in Surrey on February 24.
CCTV from that day was obtained, but the camera on Platform 2, were Ms Morgan was reported to have been seen, was not working.
Giving evidence on Monday, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, explained that officers try to find "every possible source of CCTV" to find a missing person and corroborate any sightings.
She told the court: "Unfortunately because of the time from the last sighting of Joy to the date that she was reported missing there was a six-week gap."
The trial continues.
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