Police involved in the Natalie Hemming murder investigation have been commended for their work in bringing her killer to justice.
Natalie Hemming, 31, a mum of three from Milton Keynes, was killed by her partner Paul Hemming on May 1, 2016.
The following received Chief Constable’s Commendations at a ceremony at the Force’s Training Centre in, Berkshire, on Wednesday.
> Detective Chief Inspector Simon Steel, senior investigating officer
> Detective Constable Phil Mullins, CCTV co-ordinator
> PC Nazia Hussain, one of the initial officers attending the missing person report
> PC Rebeca Wade, one of the initial officers attending the missing person report
> Karen Brooker, principal exhibits officer
> Detective Inspector Stuart Blaik, deputy senior investigating officer, the case’s family liaison officers Detective Constables Nikki Smith and Natalie Golding and the case’s intelligence analyst will be awarded their Commendations at future ceremonies.
> Detective Constable Hilary Dell, the disclosure officer, and the case officer Detective Constable Moyra Richardson, have also both been commended for their work.
Natalie’s disappearance from her home in Newton Leys, Milton Keynes, was initially a missing person enquiry which developed in to a murder investigation.
Paul Hemming was arrested on May 4, 2016 on suspicion of murder and maintained he did not know where Natalie was, however he had murdered her and placed her body in his car. He left her in a wooded area at Chandlers Cross, Hertfordshire. Her body was discovered on May 22.
Hemming was found guilty of Natalie’s murder by a unanimous jury on November 4, 2016. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 20 years.
The investigation was featured in a documentary ‘Catching a Killer - The Search for Natalie Hemming’ which was broadcast on Channel 4 in June this year.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Steel, said: “Our primary aim from the outset in this investigation was to find Natalie for her family. Tragically it became a murder enquiry and three children were left without their mother. The team worked to build the strongest possible case to ensure her killer was brought to face justice.
“I am pleased the investigation team has been recognised for all of their hard work and am tremendously proud of them. I hope this further raises awareness of domestic abuse. The signs can be difficult to spot. It can include controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship.
“I would encourage anyone to report any incident of domestic abuse to police - whether you are the victim or you have concerns for a friend, a family member or even a neighbour. Specialist officers will listen and deal with you sensitively.”
During the sentencing at Luton Crown Court, His Honour Judge Richard Foster, the Honorary Recorder of Luton, praised the officers for their actions and commended a number of them.