Police appeal to trace "man in a fleece," vital to Knaresborough fatal hit-and-run case

Police investigating the death of Bill Hendry, 75, would like to speak to theman who was captured by CCTV
Police investigating the death of Bill Hendry, 75, would like to speak to theman who was captured by CCTV

North Yorkshire Police are calling on the public to help trace a "man in a fleece," who could hold information vital to a fatal hit-and-run case in Knaresborough from over 10 years ago.

Police investigating the death of Bill Hendry, 75, would like to speak to the man who was captured by CCTV on the morning of the collision on Stockwell Lane where Mr Hendry was killed at 9.38am on 26 February 2007.

Mr Hendry has just been to the former Chain Lane Post Office with his dog, Abby, where the CCTV still was taken.

After running him over the driver fled the scene and Mr Hendry died in hospital the same day. Police are keen to trace the large-build, dark-haired man in a dark fleece who was pictured at the Post Office. Police believe he may have vital information about the collision.

Detective Chief Inspector David Ellis, who is leading the current appeal, said: “We’ve had a good response to the appeal we launched in February on the tenth anniversary of Mr Hendry’s death, including some new information that we believe is significant to the investigation.

“During a very thorough and extensive investigation over the last decade, we’ve identified and spoken to numerous people who were near the scene on the day Mr Hendry died.

“Although the information they’ve shared hasn’t enabled us to find his killer, it has helped build the picture as to what happened.

“We’d like to thank the people of Knaresborough for their support and co-operation with this appeal so far and urge anyone who has yet to share information with us - particularly about the identity of the man in the fleece - to get in touch.”

Many of the original lines of inquiry have been thoroughly explored. However, detectives say new information has come to light following the appeal earlier this year.

Police believe the driver who struck Mr Hendry was travelling at speed before they drove off and left him lying in the middle of the street.

In February, Mr Hendry’s family took part in a media appeal asking the public to share any fresh information, and urging the driver to have the courage to come forward.

In a statement his family said: “Bill was a fit and healthy man who was robbed of his life. We’ve also been robbed of a kind and caring father and grandfather.

“Bill was tragically killed by a driver who behaved in a cruel and callous manner.

“They left the scene without facing up to the responsibility of their actions. Ten years on they have still not had the courage to come forward.”

Stockwell Lane is a busy residential route used by commuters, and investigators believe the driver probably lived or worked in the area at the time. People nearby told police they heard the collision but nobody saw the vehicle involved.

Detectives believe it was a small car or van, and it drove off in the direction of Boroughbride Road.

Mr Hendry was wearing a green Barbour jacket, glasses and a cloth cap. He had just untied his dog, Abby, who was waiting outside the Post Office, and was crossing Stockwell Lane near the junction of Chain Lane when he was hit. Abby survived.

If you recognise the man in the fleece pictured by CCTV or have any information about the incident that you have not yet shared with the police, please contact Adam Harland at North Yorkshire Police by calling 101 and selecting option 2. You can also email adam.harland@northyorkshire.pnn.police.uk

Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.