Horrific murder of grandmother Winnie Deighton to be re-investigated 15 years on
THE murder of an East Yorkshire grandmother is to be re-investigated after 15 years in an attempt to bring her killer to justice.
Winnie Deighton, 59, was found dying on land near her home in Thornton Road, Bridlington, on June 10, 1997.
She had been kicked six times in the head, suffering brain damage, before she was dragged across open ground, sexually assaulted and strangled.
Now, Humberside Police's Major Incident Team hopes the public will play a role in bringing her killer to justice.
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Detective Chief Inspector Matt Hutchinson said: "It was a brutal attack on a vulnerable, defenceless lady.
"We believe she could have been sexually assaulted before she died. It was sadistic and she was degraded and humiliated.
"One of her shoes was missing and she was subjected to a horrific attack and never regained consciousness.
"We are hoping on the 15th anniversary of this horrific crime, someone out there might be able to help us."
Mrs Deighton died in Scarborough General Hospital almost two weeks after the attack without regaining consciousness, her daughter Debbie Plaxton by her side.
Kevin Storey, who had no fixed address but came from the Driffield/Bridlington area, was arrested and stood trial for murder. However, the case against him was dismissed because of a lack of evidence.
Police investigating the murder are confident her killer is local and are focusing their enquiries around Bridlington's West Hill estate.
They have DNA evidence from the crime scene and are hoping it will help find her killer.
DCI Hutchinson said: "The DNA will help us to eliminate people from our enquiries. It will be a long process.
"We owe it to her and her family to find out who did this to her. Her killer has evaded justice for 15 years.
"The West Hill community is close-knit and many people will remember this. We would like to hear from people who have any information about this or the person who did it. We would ask them to get in touch with us.
"With advances in DNA technology, we are hoping that materials from the original crime scene may help us to catch her killer."
Mrs Deighton's family have been informed of the investigation and detectives are keeping them up to speed with any developments.
After she lost her battle for life, the Rev Jonathan Couper, vicar of Christ Church in Bridlington, spoke of the sadness and shock engulfing the seaside town at her funeral.
He said: "We are all saddened by the cruel loss, and feel shame that such an act happened in this town."
He described Mrs Deighton, a mother of three with five grandchildren, as a jolly person, who always had time for others.
He said: "It didn't matter who you were, she had time for you, and that makes the loss greater and the grief more."
Her daughter Debbie also pleaded with the public to help find her mother's killer before he struck again.
At the time, she said: "It was a cruel, callous, heartless thing for anybody to do and my mum did not deserve it."
She spoke of the devastation caused by watching her mother die from her horrific injuries.
"She wasn't just my mum, she was my best friend," Debbie said.
"I would hold her hand and pray that she would open her eyes and speak to me.
"But she died, and I was not even able to tell her that I loved her."
Anyone with information they believe could help detectives catch Mrs Deighton's murderer can call the cold case team at the Driffield incident room on 01377 208989.