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FINAL APPEAL FOR WITNESSES IN MURDER CASE

Police investigating the murder of Daren Loader in Hereford on Thursday, 12th March 2009 are making a final appeal to trace any outstanding witnesses. Chief Supt Mark Turner, Herefordshire's Divisional Police Commander, said, 'The response from the public in the investigation has been excellent and a tremendous indicator of the community's sense of justice and confidence in the police. A considerable number of witnesses have come forward. However, we would still like to speak to one or two people that we believe may have been in the vicinity of the murder scene that night that other witnesses have mentioned but we have not yet identified.'

Detectives from the Operation Neutral team are keen to speak to anyone who used the Great Western Way underpass beneath Whitecross Road/Eign Street between 9.45pm and 10.30pm on Thursday, 12th March or was walking near to it. In particular, police are looking for a man and a woman with a bike seen near the underpass shortly after police arrival at the scene, another couple (male & female) walking in Eign Street around the same time, two youths seen strolling out of the underpass and a man in his 40's, with long dark hair and a green coat, seen near the scene.

Detectives also want to trace a dark blue Ford Transit or VW Transporter type vehicle that was observed driving up Ryelands Street from Whitecross Road towards Breinton Road around 10pm which may have swerved to avoid a man in the road.

Two men have been charged with the murder of Daren Loader and they await trial at Crown Court. Anyone who was in the area of the murder scene at the time who has not yet made a statement to police is urged to contact DC Philippa Johnson from the Operation Neutral Incident Room on 0300 333 3000 as soon as possible.

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31st March 2009: DETECTIVES SEEK TWO WITNESSES IN MURDER CASE

Detectives investigating the murder of teenager Daren Loader on Thursday, 12th March 2009 are appealing for two female witnesses to come forward as a matter or urgency.

It is believed that the two ladies, though to be 30 plus in age, may have been present on the Great Western Way immediately before or after the assault on Daren, at around 10pm and were about to enter the underpass beneath Whitecross Road from the Aldi's Store side.

One of the ladies is thought to have been wearing a three quarter length beige coat at the time.

Police would like to speak with the two women as a matter of urgency in order to ascertain whether they witnessed the assault and to eliminate them from any further enquiries.

If you are one of the women sought or if you may know who they are, you are urged to contact DC Jamie Bullock from the Operation Neutral team at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 as soon as possible. Alternatively, information can be passed via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.


24th March 2009: A FAMILY TRIBUTE TO DAREN LOADER

17 year old Daren Loader, who was murdered in Hereford.

The family of murdered teenager, Daren Loader, have paid tribute, describing Daren as a 'thoroughly nice lad, who was intensely loyal to his friends'.

Daren, aged 17, died after being assaulted on the evening of Thursday, 12th March 2009 in Hereford, by the Great Western Way underpass near Whitecross Road. Two men have since been charged with his murder. Daren leaves a brother Colin, aged 18, a stepbrother Adam, 17, a half-brother Jason, 21 and half-sister Courtney, 13, as well as a wider loving family.

In a statement issued through the police, Daren's family said he always made people laugh.

'He could always cheer people up with his cheeky smile and cheesy chat-up lines. He was someone who clearly loved his family. He would always stop and talk to his grandparents, even if he was out with his friends, often to the point of asking his friends to move so that his Nan could sit next to him on the bus.'

'Though he had no regular girlfriend, he had lots of good friends and was intensely loyal to all of them. He was looking forward to going away on holiday with them all to celebrate his 18th birthday in 2010.'

Daren had lived in Hereford all his life and attended Hunderton Junior School and Haywood High School. He liked creating things with his hands and was keen on woodwork, metalwork, art and cooking. He also enjoyed PE and played football for Belmont Rangers, winning numerous trophies and medals, which Mum proudly keeps polished.

Daren's ambition in life was to join the Army. Many of his older friends were already serving soldiers. He had already been on various recruitment and assessment camps and was 'very determined and driven' to the military lifestyle. At the time of his death, he was attending 'Entry To Employment', a scheme tailored to give him the necessary skills and aptitudes for the career path of his choice.

Daren's family state that they have been 'overwhelmed by the incredible support' given in tributes and flowers.

Though Daren's funeral might not yet be for some weeks due to the murder enquiry, funeral plans are already being formulated for a service at St. Martin's Church, followed by a burial at Hereford Cemetery and a celebration of his life at a venue yet to be arranged.

The family have requested that they be sent any video/mobile phone footage of Daren that his friends may have with a view to including it in the funeral service/celebration. If people have footage and know the family personally, they are happy for it to be passed directly to them. Alternatively, it can be forwarded to the family via the Family Liaison Officer at Hereford Police Station.


17th March 2009: MURDER DETECTIVES ASK PUBLIC
TO HELP FIND MOBILE PHONE

Officers working on the murder enquiry into the death of teenager Daren Loader in Hereford are asking for the public's help to trace a mobile phone that may be important to the case.

The pink Sony Ericsson W200i is believed to have been discarded on the evening of Thursday, 12th March in the area around Great Western Way; detectives believe it may still be in someone's garden close by. Search teams have been unable to locate the mobile phone and detectives ask that anyone who spots the phone in their garden or road, contacts the Operation Neutral team as soon as possible on 0300 333 3000.

Chief Inspector Lee Davenport, who is working on the murder enquiry, said, 'This phone was last seen on Thursday night and may have ended up in a garden in the local area. We would ask anyone who lives between Whitecross Rd and Grandstand Rd in the Widemarsh area of Hereford to keep a look out for the mobile phone. It may be damaged and someone may have already found it and thrown it away but we still need to know. If anyone does find the phone we would ask them not to move it but to call us as soon as possible.'

Daren, aged 17, died in hospital on Friday, 13th March as a result of his injuries. Two men, a Mr. Kalasnikovas and Mr. Mackevic, have been charged with murder and appeared before Hereford Magistrates Court this afternoon (17th March). The pair have also been charged with section 18 wounding on a female. Two other men who were arrested last week were released without charge.

Anyone who has information for detectives should call Hereford police station on 0300 333 3000 and ask for the Operation Neutral team or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

Schools and colleges to remember Daren this Friday

Schools and colleges in Herefordshire are planning to recognize the loss felt by everybody following the tragic death of Daren Loader on Friday. At 10am this coming Friday, 20th March, exactly one week on from Daren's death, some schools will promote a minute's silence to remember him.

'Remembering Daren in this way shows that young people are supported in a safe school or college environment,' said a spokesperson. 'Schools are also likely to take the opportunity to continue to ensure that our young people understand that all people, from all walks of life in Herefordshire share the shock and sadness at Daren's loss. And that it is important that we all support one another, working together to ensure that everyone has the confidence to safely go about their lives as before.

The police are grateful for the help which has been offered by every community, including migrant and seasonal workers in Herefordshire. All are keen to support the police in their work'.

Hereford Academy, where Daren attended last year, describe Daren as being full of energy and holding an ambition to join the army, taking every opportunity to take part in career events to realize his dream. His other passion was football and he was a valued member of the school team.


Hereford murder victim, Daren Loader.

Daren Loader.

16th March: TWO MEN RELEASED FOLLOWING THE
MURDER OF DAREN LOADER

Two men, arrested for the murder of Daren Loader in Hereford on Friday were released last night (Sunday) without charge. A further two remain in custody.

A murder enquiry was launched in Hereford on Friday following the death of Mr. Loader. Daren was from Whitecross Road, Hereford and was 17 years of age. He died in Hereford County Hospital on Friday morning from injuries received as a result of an assault at 10pm the evening before.

Around 100 officers and support staff are working on the enquiry into his death and includes some 50 detectives. Police have also confirmed that a 17-year old local girl was also admitted to hospital with a fractured arm sustained in the same incident.

Detectives acted quickly and diligently to arrest four men. The murder follows an incident which occurred on the Great Western Way, known locally as The Lines, where the footpath becomes an underpass beneath the Whitecross Road / Eign Street junction by the Cider Press.

Supt Kevin Purcell, Head of Policing Operations for Herefordshire Division, said, 'We are appealing for witnesses who may have seen or heard any disorder in and around the Great Western Way to come forward.'

Four people were initially arrested on suspicion of murder. Two others were arrested for public order offences. A Family Liaison Officer has been appointed to assist the victim's family.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the Operation Neutral Incident Room at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


13th March 2009: YOUNG MAN MURDERED IN HEREFORD

Police in Herefordshire have launched a murder enquiry following the death of Daren Colin Loader in Hereford. Darren was from Whitecross Road, Hereford and was 17 years of age. Mr Loader died in Hereford County Hospital this morning from injuries received as a result of an assault at 10pm last night (12th March).

Around 100 officers and support staff are working on the enquiry into his death and includes some 50 detectives. Police have also confirmed that a 17-year old local girl was also admitted to hospital with a fractured arm sustained in the same incident.

Detectives have acted quickly and diligently to arrest four men who are now in custody at police stations across the West Mercia area. The murder follows an incident which occurred on the Great Western Way, known locally as The Lines, where the footpath becomes an underpass beneath the Whitecross Road / Eign Street junction by the Cider Press.

Supt Kevin Purcell, Head of Policing Operations for Herefordshire Division, said, 'This incident occurred between 9.30pm and 10.30pm yesterday evening (12th March) and we are appealing for witnesses who may have seen or heard any disorder in and around the Great Western Way at that time to come forward.'

Four people have been arrested on suspicion of murder. Two others have been arrested for public order offences. A Family Liaison Officer has been appointed to assist the victim's family.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact the Operation Neutral Incident Room at Hereford Police Station on 0300 333 3000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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