Hastings: Four Men Arrested Over Murders

25 February 2015, 13:39

Detectives investigating the drive-by shooting of a father almost 14 years ago and the disappearance of a second man have arrested four people in connection with their murders.

Jimmy Millen, 27, was killed by a hail of gunfire in Carpenter Drive, Hastings, East Sussex, on October 24 2001, after a motorbike pillion passenger fired shots at him from a handgun as he worked on his car.

The bike is believed to have driven off from Tilebarn Road, past the junction of Lancaster Road and towards the Castleham Industrial Estate, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

Mr Millen was married with three children aged between eight and 11 when he died in hospital.

His killing was linked with the disappearance of Jason Martin-Smith, 28, who was an acquaintance of Mr Millen and originally from Camberley, Surrey, in August that year, police said.

Detectives believe Mr Martin-Smith was abducted and murdered although his body has never been found and despite a major investigation and exhaustive inquiries both cases remain unsolved.

This morning, officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team made four arrests in Hastings.

A 46-year-old man from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Mr Millen; two men aged 34 and 36, both from St Leonards, were arrested on suspicion of murdering Mr Martin-Smith and conspiracy to murder Mr Millen; and a man aged 42, from Hastings, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder Mr Martin-Smith.

All the men were taken into police custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Paul Rymarz said: "These arrests have come about as a result of an internal review of the two cases and our determination to provide justice for the families of the victims.

"We are providing support to the victims' families and keeping them informed of the activity.

"This is an unresolved case and we are still appealing for information from the public.

"This can be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers.

"There is a police reward of #10,000 from 2001 for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of Jimmy Millen."

In 2012, police divers searched two fishing lakes at Clive Vale Angling Club in Hastings in an attempt to recover the handgun used in the killing but nothing was found.

Anyone with information in relation to the murders is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 quoting Operation Fare or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.