Lee Balkwell death: Met Police confirm detectives are looking at new evidence

Lee Balkwell, who died in July 2002, at Denises farm, Upminster. Picture: Les Balkwell

Lee Balkwell, who died in July 2002, at Denises farm, Upminster. Picture: Les Balkwell - Credit: Archant

The circumstances surrounding a man found dead in a cement mixer are now being assessed by the Met Police, it has been confirmed.

Two weeks ago, the Recorder reported that a team of retired Met investigators had uncovered evidence that suggested Lee Balkwell’s death at Baldwins Farm, Dennises Lane, Upminster, on July 18, 2002, may not have been an accident.

Essex Police chief constable Stephen Kavanagh had agreed to ask the Met Police’s Murder Review Team to look at new evidence found by TM Eye’s retired forensic investigator.

A Met Police spokesman said: “We can confirm the MPS has received a request for assistance from Essex Police in connection with the death of Lee Balkwell.

“At this very early stage the matter is being assessed by detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Review Group.”

TM Eye’s forensic investigator had found a set of burn marks on Lee’s right arm consistent with the use of a stun gun.

Head of TM Eye, retired detective Dave McKelvey said: “The burn marks on Lee’s right arm have a specific pattern to them and we have submitted that to our forensic laboratory and are awaiting results.”

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Mr McKelvey said TM Eye had submitted a request to Essex Police to surrender a stun gun discovered at Baldwins Farm during Portwing, an undercover police operation, in 2005.

It is believed in 2015, the Balkwell family received a £12,000 award from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) – a government scheme that compensates blameless victims of violent crimes.

In December 2016, Essex Police also paid £40,000 in damages after it accepted liability for a series of flaws into the investigation of Lee’s death.

The Recorder approached Essex Police for a comment on whether the stun gun had been surrendered and whether the force accepted Lee’s death was due to a violent crime.

But a spokesman simply said: “We are aware of the Met’s statement and have nothing to add at this time.”

Mr McKelvey added: “We have concerns about the way evidence was gathered and from the evidence that we have seen, there are concerns about what actually happened that night.”