Saturday, April 26, 2014
Ottery’s neighbourhood beat manager has been formally recognised for her part in preventing a plot by two men to rob and murder Devon-based soul singer Joss Stone.
PC Vicky Dixon, who has been based in Ottery for the past two years, was awarded with the ‘commander certificate’ for demonstrating exceptional professionalism in the discharge of duty.
The trial and conviction of the would-be killers Kevin Liverpool and Junior Bradshaw received international media coverage, and this week PC Dixon spoke to the Herald about the events leading up to their arrest in June 2011.
“We had a report of two men in a car looking at properties in Cullompton,” she said. “So we thought they were probably canvassing them for a burglary.”
The two occupants of the Fiat Punto were Liverpool, 35, and Bradshaw, 32, who had driven from Manchester and become lost on their way to Miss Stone’s house.
PC Dixon questioned the driver, while her colleague PC Carl Sandy spoke with the passenger.
“The driver was really vacant, really blasé and I just wasn’t happy with his answers,” said PC Dixon. “He told me they were looking for directions to get back on to the motorway, but they were parked right next to a sign for it.”
PC Dixon’s instincts that something was amiss proved to be right when a check on the vehicle revealed that it was uninsured and the driver had been disqualified.
She arrested the driver, and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed the pair’s shocking intentions.
The two officers found daggers, gaffer tape, maps to the singer’s house – and a 3ft samurai sword hidden in the boot.
“You get the odd pocket knife but I’d never come across anything like that before - it’s just not the sort of thing you’d expect in Devon,” said PC Dixon.
Officers in Manchester later raided the men’s flat and discovered a series of notes detailing their plans to rob and kill the singer.
She added: “If they had got to her house I don’t doubt they would have gone through with it,”
The men were found guilty of conspiring to murder Miss Stone at Exeter Crown Court in April last year.
Police chief for East and Mid Devon, Chief Superintendent Jim Gale, presented PC Dixon with the award at a ceremony in Exeter earlier this month.