Furniture business couple wrongly arrested for a murder in Cambridgeshire

Cornish couple held by Cambridgeshre Police in a case of mistaken identity

Cornish couple held by Cambridgeshre Police in a case of mistaken identity - Credit: Archant

A couple from Cornwall were wrongly arrested as part of inquiries into the murder of Cambridgeshire traveller Jessie Smith.

The furniture business owners were arrested in connection with the Burwell murder as they came out of an auction as part of information passed from Cambridgeshire Police to the Devon and Cornwall force.

Steve and Sharon Rogers were travelling home from a furniture auction when their van was boxed in by police cars and forced into a controlled stop at the roadside.

Mr Rogers told the Plymouth Herald: “We were just driving home from the auction when suddenly a policeman in front of us got out of the car and pointed a gun on us.

“One of the officers shouted: ‘If you don’t put your hands up we will shoot you.’

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“I literally froze in fear and couldn’t believe what was happening to us.

“I was so scared. These policemen were prepared to shoot us. I feared for our lives.”

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They claim officers pointed guns at their heads as they scrambled out of their vehicle with their arms aloft and were then held in custody in Cambourne for several hours before being released without charge after becoming suspects in the murder of Jessie Smith, 36, who was gunned down 300 miles away in Cambridgeshire eight days before their arrest.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: “These arrests were made as part of inquiries into a live murder inquiry.

“As proceedings are now active, it would be inappropriate to comment any further.”

The van they were driving was registered in the name of a man who was then a suspect in the murder inquiry.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said they acted on intelligence from Cambridgeshire police but pledged that lessons would be learnt.

He said: “At all times we were acting in accordance with policing procedures and at the request of Cambridgeshire Police, and as soon as it became clear that Mr and Mrs Rogers were innocent we ensured they were released as soon as possible.

Mark Mosley, 42 has been charged with the murder of Jessie Smith, who was gunned down at a Burwell traveller’s site on New Year’s Day.

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