THE team of detectives whose work helped convict a Hampshire businessman of murder have been singled out for praise by the judge in the case.

Judge Guy Boney QC said he plans to write to Hampshire police Chief Constable Paul Kernaghan to suggest they are given special commendations for their work and that it is recorded on their files.

He said the officers had worked tirelessly in preparing and presenting the case against Mike Gifford-Hull who was this week found guilty of murdering his wife of 19 years, Kirsi, following a row at their home.

After jailing Gifford-Hull for life and ordering he serve a minimum of 17 years behind bars he remained in the courtroom to thank and praise the detectives.

Judge Boney said the work of Det Supt David Kilbride - who led the investigation - had been detailed, methodical and "as thorough an investigation as one could ever imagine."

He added that the police inquiry was so superior it could be matched with that of any other police force in the world.

Praising DC Neil Cussen, for his idea of creating a reconstruction DVD in which Gifford-Hull attempted to re-enact how he killed Kirsi, the judge agreed with prosecutor Michael Bowes that he had played "a vital role" in the detection of the murder.

The work of DC Alan Ferguson, who had the difficult job of acting as family liaison officer for the parents and children of Kirsi, was summed up by Mr Bowes who said "a community has been well served" by his efforts.

Det Insp Mark Bissell and Det Sgt Richard Rowledge were also commended by the judge.

A transcript of his comments is now being sent to Mr Kernagahan who is expected to consider the idea when he returns from leave on November 20.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Watts, head of specialist investigations, said: "I am very grateful to hear the comments of Judge Boney. This confirms to me what I knew to be the case in relation to the detectives and police staff of the Hampshire Constabulary invovled in the investigation of serious and complex crime, and in particular our major crime team.

"We remain committed to doing everything we can to protect the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight at all levels from homicide to antisocial behaviour. I am very proud of the contribution that these officers and members of police staff have made."