POLICE have launched a new appeal today to help solve a one-year-old murder investigation on Tyneside.
John ‘The Badge’ Roberts, 32, was found dead inside his home in Park Terrace, Winlaton, Gateshead, on Sunday, December 16, last year.
One year on, detectives are continuing to appeal for people to come forward and help them catch the killer of Mr Roberts, a well-known figure who sold badges outside of Newcastle United’s St James’s Park.
Detective Superintendent Roger Ford said: “It’s been 12 months since John Roberts was murdered and the investigation to catch his killer is very much ongoing.
“We have carried out more than 2,500 house-to-house inquiries, spoken to over 5,000 people as part of the investigation and we will continue to work until we find who killed him. We still need the public’s help and would urge anyone who knows anything – people who might have heard anything about John’s murder, or anyone who thinks they could help us solve this murder – to get in touch with us.”
Mr Roberts was found dead in the living room of his home, having suffered a serious head injury.
Forensic enquiries at the scene identified DNA evidence which analysis showed that it belonged to a female.
Detectives are keen to identify this woman, as she could have vital information.
Det Supt Ford added: “DNA evidence from the crime scene tells us John had come into contact with a female inside his home some time before his death.
“We’ve DNA-tested people who we know were associated with John and are checking the DNA with national databases. It’s only a matter of time before we get a hit.
“From what we found at the scene we believe that she was involved in John’s death in some way. It’s vital that we find out who she is.
“People only need to give us a name and, because of the DNA evidence, we can quickly and easily eliminate people from our enquiries.
“We just need the information and we will act on it.”
Officers will be carrying out inquiries in Winlaton today and speaking to local residents about John’s death.
Anyone who has any information into the unsolved murder of John Roberts is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.
Information can be passed on anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.