Unsolved Murders

Lee Robert King

Age: 32

Sex: male

Date: 28 Jan 2000

Place: Penistone Road, Park End, Middlesbrough

Lee King was shot in Penistone Road, Park End. A man was tried for his murder but acquitted after he said that he was somewhere else at the time.

He was shot in the early hours of 28 January 2000 in a garden in Penistone Road. He was shot at close range with both barrels of a double-barrelled shotgun.

Three people were arrested in relation to his murder.

It was said that the man that was alleged to have shot him had killed Lee King because Lee King had dated one of his ex-girlfriends. The man was described as a notorious armed robber with a drug habit.

The man that was acquitted of his murder admitted to possessing the shotgun that had been used to kill Lee King and was convicted of intent to commit an armed robbery and sentenced to six-years imprisonment. He later died in HMP Hull in April 2009 from an illness.

The man acquitted had an extensive criminal record spanning over twenty years and when he was convicted for the intent to commit an armed robbery in 2001 he was also given a mandatory life term for another crime under the 'two strikes and out' laws.

There was significant controversy later about the way that police handled information regarding the man's attempt to buy a gun. It was heard that the man had approached a businessman in early December 1999 and asked for a £600 loan to buy a sawn-off-shotgun for the purpose of drug taxing. The police were informed, but they allowed the loan to go ahead and put the man under surveillance. The cash was given to the man on 17 December 1999. However, the police operation lost track of him and failed to achieve anything and the man was not arrested until after Lee King was shot. The police decisions were later the subject of a high-level inquiry that went on for more than two years. However, no one faced criminal charges although five unnamed policemen were given 'words of advice'.

At the time, the man acquitted had been out of prison on licence and had been due to meet his probation officer on 23 December 1999 but failed to show up and as such his licence was revoked, but he could not been found to be arrested and returned to prison.

The man acquitted for his murder had also been tried for the murder of Kevin Richardson in 1993 and acquitted of that as well.

Lee King had earlier been convicted of hiding a knife that had been used to kill Lee Duffy in 1991. Lee Duffy was killed in self-defence after a man said that he feared for his life when Lee Duffy started a fight, knowing that Lee Duffy often carried a gun. The man was found not guilty of murder and manslaughter.

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