UNRELENTING efforts by a dedicated team of detectives who identified the Mystery Man of Saddleworth Moor have been celebrated at a glittering award ceremony.
Det Sgt John Coleman headed a team of Oldham CID officers whose painstaking inquiries began after the man was found dead on Chew Track, near Dovestones, in December two years ago.
The man, named Neil Dovestones by mortuary technicians, had no identification and had not been reported missing.
The investigation to identify him and discover why he died took over a year to complete, crossing continents and bringing together international agencies and foreign governments.
The only clues the team had were train tickets from the man’s journeys between Ealing, Euston and Manchester, cash and a medicine bottle.
Eventually, after identifying the man entering the country on airport CCTV, the team discovered his real name was David Lytton and he had family living in London.
The citation for their innovation and excellence said: “Their work demonstrated the lengths the team went to identify the man and ensure family were present when he was laid to rest.”
The efforts were highlighted at the GMP’s Chief Constable’s STAR Awards at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, where brave officers, volunteers and investigative teams were recognised for their work.
Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told the huge audience: “We have had so many achievements from both officers and staff over the last 12 months — a testament to the fantastic work all our colleagues do day in day out.
“All of the nominees should be extremely proud – they have shown real resilience, professionalism and a dedication to the people of Greater Manchester.”
Sharing the stage with the police team was journalist Ken Bennett, the Independent’s founder who broke the story of the mystery death and helped True North who turned the story into a Channel 4 Despatches programme.
Highly-valued PC Lee Cullen, of the Saddleworth and Lees Neighbourhood Policing Team, was shortlisted individually for an award in the service by police officers category.
Alongside the awards, special recognition was paid to the GMP Police Band – celebrating 140 years this year – which has raised over £500,000 for charity since being set up.
The event was compered by radio presenter Mike Sweeney with Lord Lieutenant Warren Smith in attendance.