Jackie Poole

The Bell Inn, Ruislip Gardens

A man who thought he had got away with murder for nearly 20 years has finally been jailed for life.The move follows major advances in DNA technology which were used when the case was re-examined in 1998.

Anthony Ruark, now aged 40, became a prime suspect following the death of his lover, 25-year-old Jacqueline Poole, in February 1983.

She was discovered, half-naked, in the living room of her flat in Ruislip, north west London. She had been sexually assaulted, beaten and strangled with a bathroom light cord.

Despite being deeply suspicious of Ruark's alibis police were unable to pin the crime on him because of a lack of evidence.

[Jacqueline Poole]
Jacqueline Poole was strangled
In 1998 Mrs Poole's clothes were sent away for examination and semen found on them was matched with Ruark's DNA using a new technique called Low Copy Number (LCN).William Boyce, QC, prosecuting, told the jury: "It showed Mr Ruark's body samples were on the deceased. It brings him here to be tried by you for a crime committed 18 years ago."

On Friday Ruark was found guilty of murder and jailed for life at the Old Bailey.

Ruark, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, had denied murdering Mrs Poole.

'Jewellery taken'

The court heard that that she had worn lots of jewellery, including several rings on each finger.

Mr Boyce said much of her jewellery had been taken.

"The defendant knew she had jewellery. He was her lover for a period.

"Although he was short of money before the killing, he was found to have more than might have been expected afterwards."

People may think they have got away with murder for decades only for science and the law to finally catch up with them.
Dr Jonathan Whitaker
Senior forensic scientistRuark's counsel, Nicholas Price QC, said: "He is a man who must have had this on his conscience for 18 years."Judge Kenneth Machin told Ruark: "This was a brutal murder of a defenceless woman who had been nothing but kind to you."

He commended DCI McKinlay and said: "But for his re-examination, this case, this matter may not have come to court."

The judge said that but for the advances of science Ruark would not have stood trial.

Senior forensic scientist Dr Jonathan Whitaker said: "This case shows enormous benefits to the criminal justice system of our new DNA technology, combined with the national DNA database.

"It also shows how useful this can be in old cases where leads have gone cold. With the application of a dose of science and innovation, the investigations can at last bear fruit.

Praise for police

"People may think they have got away with murder for decades only for science and the law to finally catch up with them."

Mrs Poole's brothers, Terry and Lee Hunt, attended every day of the trial.

Terry Hunt said: "Ruark has had 18 years of freedom that he should not have had, but this is finally justice after 18 years of waiting.

"I have no feelings towards Ruark whatsoever, but I have nothing but praise for the police. She was a loving sister and we will never forget her."

Oisin O'Driscoll 14th December 2016

Seven year-old Oisin O'Driscoll was found dead at his home in Ruslip on 14 December 2016.

Police forced entry to the house in The Fairway at around 10.50am after concerns were raised about the occupants.

Officers found the bodies of Oisin and his 37 year-old mother Sinead Higgins. An initial post-mortem was inconclusive as to cause of death.

Detectives said they were satisfied that the deaths were consistent with a murder and a suicide and nobody else was being sought.

Jasmine and Prisha Solanki 12th April 2013

Nine year-old Jasmine Solanki and her four year-old sister Prisha Solanki were killed by their mother on 12 April 2013.

The two girls were found lying next to the dead body of Heena Solanki, 34, in her bed at their home in Midcroft, Ruislip, later that evening.

A post-mortem found all three died as a result of substance intoxication associated with ligature compression.

The inquest at West London Coroners Court heard Mrs Solanki had taken some acid from a locked cupboard at the school where she worked as a lab technician.

She then poisoned her daughters and strangled them before killing herself. A suicide note was found at the scene.

Widower Kalpesh Solanki said: “Prior to her death I believed that Heena was happy and content. We lived a nice life with our two children, Jasmine and Prisha.

“The only thing that I was aware of that made her unhappy was that we lived with my parents. This issue got her down at times but it’s the only issue I can think of.”

Coroner Chinyere Inyama concluded that Solanki took her own life while Jasmine and Prisha were both unlawfully killed.

Osman Shidane 18th May 2018

Osman Shidane, 20, died three days after being stabbed in Ruislip.

He was found with critical injuries near an Asda store in Victoria Road at around 9pm on 15 May 2018.

Mr Shidane died in hospital at 5.16pm on 18 May. A postmortem confirmed he died of multiple stab wounds.

A 16 year-old boy from Hillingdon was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. He was charged with murder on 19 May.

He is due to stand trial at the Old Bailey on 29 October 2018.

Detectives are appealing for witnesses and information.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Healy, said: “Efforts continue to establish exactly what happened in the lead up to this violent attack in which Osman suffered several stab wounds.

"I am particularly keen to hear from anyone who was driving in the area of Victoria Road between 20:30hrs and 21:30hrs on the night of Osman's murder and may have dash cam footage that can assist us with our enquiries.

"I also appeal directly to those people in the community who know what took place, or recorded the incident on their mobile phones to get in touch if you haven't done so already, and help us give Osman's family the justice they deserve."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 0208 358 0200 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Alfie Stone 9th November 2015

Alfie Stone, 18, was stabbed to death in Ickenham on 9 November 2015.

Police and paramedics were called to the scene outside a Tesco store in High Road at 5.35pm.

Alfie, who lived in Hillingdon and was a pupil at Pield Heath House academy in Uxbridge, died after being taken to hospital. A postmortem found he suffered three stab wounds to the chest including a fatal injury to the heart.

On 11 November Maxine Benson, 32 (21.05.83) of no fixed address was charged with murder. The next morning Corinne Cripps, 29 (01.05.86) of High Road, Ickenham and Steve Hawgood, 28 (01.05.87) of Kingston Avenue, West Drayton, were charged with murder.

They went on trial at the Old Bailey on 5 April 2016. On 26 April 2016 the jury convicted Benson of murder. Hawgood and Cripps were cleared of murder but face a retrial on the lesser charge of manslaughter..

The court heard the dispute started two days before the murder after Alfie's brother Jake took pasta from the communal kitchen at a block of flats in Ickenham High Road.

Both boys returned on 9 November 2015 to collect some possessions left at the flat by their sister, a former tenant.

A row broke out near the rear of the flats and Benson grabbed a knife and chased Alfie and his brother into the High Road. Witnesses saw Alfie trying to defend himself with an advertising board in the street outside Tesco Express.

Prosecutor Tony Badenoch QC said: 'Maxine Benson wielded the knife and was witnessed to do so both by members of the public and CCTV as she knifed him in the chest and then left the scene leaving him lying dying.'

Benson, who had previous convictions for robbery, assault and possession of an offensive weapon, admitted manslaughter but claimed she forgot she was holding the knife and did not intend to cause serious injury.

On 27 April 2016 Benson was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum of 23.5 years before parole.