Lee Balkwell death: 'Give us closure' says Hornchurch dad on 15th anniversary of son's death
PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:05 20 July 2017
"We need closure," said the father of a man found dead in dubious circumstances.
Lee Balkwell death the story so far
Essex Police officers failed to follow guidelines regarding collecting evidence during the crucial hours followng Lee's death. Picture: Archant
Les Balkwell speaking at a press conference after winning a High Court battle for Essex Police to reveal never before seen police documents. Picture: Archant
The IPCC ruled the original investigation into Lee's death was 'seriously flawed'. Picture: Archant
Lee Balkwell was found dead after being crushed in a cement mixer at Baldwin's Farm, Upminster. Picture: Google Maps/Archant
“We cannot get it when the truth isn’t being allowed to come out.”
Tuesday, July 18, marked 15 years since Lee Balkwell, 33, was crushed in the mechanisms of a cement mixer at Baldwins Farm, Dennises Lane, Upminster, in 2002.
His father Les, 70, of Hornchurch, has been fighting for justice since his son died and has always maintained Lee was murdered by an organised gang of criminals.
“Lee was the sort of bloke who never harmed anyone in his life. He was a good boy,” he continued.
“The main thing I know is he does not deserve not to have justice and he does not deserve for the truth to not come out.”
In May, the Recorder revealed how a team of retired detectives – TM-Eye – found a set of burn marks on Lee’s right arm consistent with the use of a stun gun.
TM-Eye believe this may show Lee’s death was not the result of an industrial accident, and the organisation’s head, retired detective Dave McKelvey, made a request for Essex Police to make available for forensic testing a stun gun found during Portwing – an undercover operation at the farm in 2005.
This request is yet to be acknowledged by the force.
But Essex Police chief constable Stephen Kavanagh, who is being investigated for misconduct, asked the Met Police’s Murder Review Team to review the evidence.
But Les remains frustrated with what he believes is a lack of progress.
“We haven’t been told anything,” he added.
“They Met don’t appear to have done anything yet. They haven’t even interviewed me.”
Les said he contacted the Met for an update on their work on the case but claims he was told officers were tied up with knife crimes.
The Recorder contacted the Met to clarify progress made but a spokeswoman said she could not comment and referred us back to Essex Police.
The force has been approached for comment.
Sharing Les’ frustration Mr McKelvey said: “All we and Mr Balkwell want is for the case to be investigated as a murder inquiry.”