Press release re Crimewatch

One of the most difficult murder cases solved by Derbyshire police in recent years is to feature in a special episode of Crimewatch.

The murder of taxi driver Stuart Ludlam will form part of an hour long programme, Catch Me If You Can, due to be aired on BBC1 next week.

The crew visited Derbyshire in November last year to film a reconstruction of the murder and interview the investigating officer, former temporary Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Blockley, about the case.

Actors, cameras and technicians took over Cromford railway station for a day to recreate the events of September 17 2009.

Mr Ludlam (43), of Darley Dale, was shot in the head in the boot of his taxi. In June, Colin Cheetham (62), of Ripley was jailed for 30 years for his murder.

The investigation was particularly challenging because the murder appeared to be motiveless. A breakthrough came when police found it was Cheetham! who owned the mobile phone used to lure Mr Ludlam to the train station.

The investigation team found that the phone, which was never recovered, had been activated on August 13 last year.

There was no record of who had bought it, as they had paid cash, but it had been bought at Morrison’s supermarket in Derby.

It was a ¬£5 phone top-up card bought moments later at the petrol station which revealed the identity of its owner. Cheetham’s mistake was that he paid for this on his credit card, providing detectives with the evidence they needed to link him to the killing.

Head of Crime at Derbyshire police, Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Cotterill said: “This was a particularly challenging case because there appeared to be no motive to the murder.
“The team worked tirelessly to get justice for Stuart and his family and this programme reflects their hard work.

“Cheetham thought he’d committed the perfect crime but old! -fashioned detective work proved to be his downfall in the end.”

In April, nine members of the force and two retired officers received Chief Constable’s Commendations and Judge’s Commendations for their part in the investigation.

The programmed will be aired on BBC1 and BBC1 HD at 9pm on Tuesday, May 17.