The caretaker who watched the crossbow murder of Bradford woman Suzanne Blamires on CCTV has broken his silence.
Peter Gee, 53, speaking at his local working men’s club tonight, told a small gathering of invited press that the images he saw that day will stay with him for the rest of his life. Sitting with his wife in the concert hall of Buttershaw Lane WMC, Mr Gee, who is on compassionate leave from his job at Holmfield Court where murderer Stephen Griffiths lived, read a short statement.
He said: “On the morning of May 24, 2010, a day unknown to me at the time as one that would change my life forever, I came into work at Holmfield Court as usual.
“What I saw on that tape horrified and distressed me and I called the police straight away. As I am sure you will understand, I have no wish to re-live my feelings at that moment and go into the details of what was on the tape.
“The sight of its horrific content has deeply affected me and my family and those images will stay with me for the rest of my life.”
That afternoon, police arrested Griffiths, 40, on suspicion of the murder of Miss Blamires, 36. The self-proclaimed “Crossbow Cannibal” will die in prison after being locked up for the rest of his life on Tuesday for the murders of Bradford prostitutes Miss Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth.
At the hearing, Leeds Crown Court heard how Mr Gee had watched footage of Griffiths entering the flats with Miss Blamires at 2.30am on May 22.
She was then seen running out of the flats being chased by the mature student who shot her with a crossbow in the corridor and then dragged her into his flat by her legs.
Mr Gee, who has been caretaker of Holmfield Court for more than three years, said residents, who he had made some good friendships with, had asked for CCTV to be fitted some time ago because strangers were using communal areas.
Continuing his statement, stopping at times to regain his composure, Mr Gee said: “My reaction after these terrible events, as well as trying to come to some sort of terms with them, is thank goodness for the CCTV.
“Had residents not asked for it to be fitted it would not have been there. The tragic events of the weekend would never have been recorded, I would not have had cause to telephone the police, Stephen Griffiths could still be free and the families of Susan, Suzanne and Shelley may well never have known what had happened to their precious mothers, daughters and sisters.
“Although I can never forget what I have seen, or imagine their (the victims’ families) suffering, I take some small comfort that it was my actions that helped to bring the killer to justice.”
Mr Gee, who is married and is a grandfather, said he had found counselling helpful and said he hoped he could finally get “some kind of normality” back into his life.