Detectives tell of hunt for murder suspect

8:50am Friday 9th December 2011

DETECTIVES were on the trail of the alleged killer of a Hampshire grandmother within months of her brutal murder, a court heard.

Officers spent months trying to track down Matthew Hamlen, whose name cropped up in a specialist police operation looking at people who lived in the vicinity of the murder scene.

Jurors at Winchester Crown Court heard how they began looking for Hamlen in April 2008 because they wanted to interview him and ask his whereabouts on the day Georgina Edmonds, right, was tortured and bludgeoned to death at her Brambridge home.

But every time they called at his home, which was then at The Crescent in Eastleigh, nobody answered the door.

Dc Paul Travers initially tried to find Hamlen at his former address in Harvey Road in April 2008 but was told he had since moved to The Crescent in Eastleigh.

He went to the property and an address of his former girlfriend but could not locate him, the court was told. A check with Eastleigh council showed no record of him.

But in June, the Department of Work and Pensions revealed Hamlen was registered as living in The Crescent and police returned to the address numerous times to speak to him, but to no avail.

Acting Detective Sergeant Joanne Young told the court she went back in July and August but also got no answer and eventually left a letter asking Hamlen to make contact.

After failing to keep a number of appointments he had arranged, Hamlen was eventually interviewed on August 28, 2008, when he told police he could not remember where he was on the day of the murder of the 77-year-old.

Describing himself as a self-employed electrician, he could not say if he had been working on the day in question, said he had never heard of Georgina Edmonds or her family and only ever used Kiln Lane as a cut through route.

He said he didn’t own a high visibility jacket or white trainers because he did not like them.

ADS Young agreed that Hamlen had been “open and helpful” during the interview.

Giving evidence, DC Neil Cutting told jurors Hamlen had been asked during interview when he was arrested for the murder in July 2010 if he would agree to taking part in a reconstruction at the ATM in Twyford Road, where a man who the prosecution say was him, attempted to withdraw money using Mrs Edmonds stolen cashcard.

He initially agreed but later declined, the court heard.

Hamlen, of Hamilton Road, Bishopstoke, denies murder.

Proceeding.

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