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A 29-year-old man has today been found guilty of murder following the deaths of two men on a travellers site at Beck Row in Suffolk.
On 15th March 2011 police were contacted just after 10:15pm to reports of gunshots being heard coming from Willow Park, Beck Row. This was followed by reports of a fire on the authorised travellers' site.
Armed police attended and upon their arrival they found a car on fire at the entrance to the site and a man dead on the ground. A second man was found dead in the car. Both men had been shot.
The deceased men were 29-year-old David Castell and 20-years-old Shane Hill, both from Southend in Essex. Post-mortem examination results showed that they died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Following the incident police made a number of arrests as a large-scale investigation was carried out by the joint Suffolk and Norfolk Major Investigation Team.
This led to the arrest and charge of Christopher Line, a 29-year-old man from Beck Row. Line was charged in October 2011 with two counts of murder. He has today been found guilty of both counts at Ipswich Crown Court and sentenced to life imprisonment with a 35-year minimum sentence.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Luckett from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team said:
"David Castell and Shane Hill were shot several times by Christopher Line with a shotgun, some of those shots were to head and at close range. His intention to kill them was clear. The manner of each death was described in court as 'executions'.
It will never be completely clear why this happened but what is apparent is that a dispute between individuals escalated to an unacceptable level and resulted in these tragic deaths. I hope any person involved in anyway in the background to this matter realises the consequences of their actions and that this matter is now concluded.
Today's conviction and sentence shows the level of investigation which will be undertaken by the Police and Crown Prosecution Service to convict those who carry out such attacks.
I must of course thank the investigation and prosecution teams for preparing a detailed case but more importantly pay tribute to the families of both men who have maintained their quiet dignity throughout this traumatic case. I hope they can in some way now move on."
Below are comments from the families of the deceased:
Tony Hill, stepfather to Shane Hill said:
"We would like to thank the police for all their hard work and we are happy with the verdict today. It is good to see that justice has been done. We are aware that there are other culprits still out there involved in the circumstances surrounding this horrific attack on our son and we hope they are brought to justice soon."
Jane Grove, mother of David Castell said:
The verdict today will never bring David back. His family will always be left with a huge void where David should have been. His children will grow up never really knowing their Dad. Any sentence would never be as great a punishment as his family will live with.
I would like to thank the police for pursuing the case to the end to obtain the justice for David that he deserves."