The lead detective in the case said he was pleased with the jailing of ‘two dangerous men’ so they can’t ‘ruin any more lives’.
Det Chief Insp Pete Hill said it was a relief to secure the conviction against Darrell Akins and Paul Clarke after a detailed investigation into the shooting of Rugby father Jordon Banton.
“To know we’ve got two dangerous men off the streets for 30 years and 25 years respectively is a really pleasing result for us and for Rugby,” he said.
“Three children and close family will miss Jordon forever, so our job is to do all we can to find those responsible and not let them ruin any more lives.”
The vehicle used in the shooting was identified and located using CCTV and number plate recognition systems. Det Chief Insp Hill said: “CCTV in Newton Village captured the vehicle and from that we knew what we were looking for, that’s when we ran the registration through the system and worked to locate the car.
“We used automatic number plate recognition systems, telecoms technology, forensic teams and many more techniques and experts. It was one of those investigations where pretty much every strand was relied upon to prove the case.”
Detailed forensic tests were carried out on the Vauxhall Insignia. “Two baseball caps and the seat were tested for shotgun residue,” Det Chief Insp Hill said. “The residue matched that at Akins’ home address and the expert said in his opinion the shells had all been through the same weapon.”
Akins and Clarke were later arrested at gunpoint in Cardiff. Det Chief Insp Hill said: “Excellent work by the local team, alongside the South Wales force, meant we were able to locate the suspects in Cardiff. When someone has been brutally murdered then those men clearly present a really high risk to the community and officers, so in the circumstances we had no option but to use armed and specially trained officers to apprehend them.”
Speaking of key witnesses in the trial, Det Chief Insp Hill said: “With an incident of this nature there’s a reluctance for people to come forward and give evidence. Understandably they are scared and worried, but Warwick Justice Centre has excellent facilities to make sure we minimise those fears. Also, we have specially trained officers to ensure they can give strong and reliable evidence.
“I’d like to personally thank and praise the witnesses who gave evidence at this difficult trial, as without them, this conviction would not have been possible.”
During the trial it was alleged that Jordon Banton was a ‘higher than street level cocaine dealer’. “It’s important not to forget that Jordon Banton was brutally murdered, this was an execution,” Det Chief Insp Hill said.
“It was really challenging for the family during the trial as the defence have to try and present a strong case, so difficult things come out which are tough for the family to hear. The family showed the utmost respect for the trial process and must have found some things particularly hurtful.”
The judge presiding over the case praised the police’s work.