A poster produced by the Grimsby Telegraph has helped snare a killer. It was after he had seen one of the posters that local man Paul Dean told his girlfriend he had killed James Donson.
More than 100 posters and thousands of leaflets appealing for information were published by the Telegraph when Donson died after being attacked and robbed. Giving evidence at Hull Crown Court, key witness Katie Forsyth told how her boyfriend confessed to the attack after she spotted a poster.
She told the jury: "I saw the poster and said to Paul: ‘Who do you think did that? I bet it was smackheads.’ He said: ‘It was me’."
Dean has been jailed for nine years for manslaughter. He will begin his sentence when he finishes a current jail term for burglary.
Dean, 23, attacked Donson with a piece of wood as he walked towards a phone box just after midnight. He fled with just £7.
Twenty-year-old Donson died in his bed several hours later.
Detective Chief Superintendent Gavin Baggs, Donson’s mother, Sandra Dawson, and stepfather Alan Dawson have since thanked Telegraph staff for their actions.
Baggs said: "The Telegraph played a vital role. You would expect a local newspaper to give something like this a lot of coverage, but the Telegraph went further than that and provided specific assistance in printing and publishing posters on our behalf.
"We now know from the evidence heard in the trial that publicity and posters and also leaflets that the Telegraph printed, were important in raising public awareness and convincing the key witness, Katie Forsyth, that she should do something."