CPS authorises charges over disappearance of Paignton man

21/04/2009

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today authorised Devon and Cornwall Constabulary to charge 41-year-old Andrew Lawless with the murder of Steven Price, who disappeared from his home in Paignton last May.

Ann Reddrop, Head of the CPS Complex Casework Unit said: "We have been working closely with the Police over the past months to investigate all aspects of Mr Price's disappearance before reaching a final decision on charging. Accordingly, we have this week authorised the Police to charge Mr Lawless."

Det Supt Steve Carey, who is leading the enquiry said: "This has been a complex, thorough and necessarily lengthy investigation to bring us to this point. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those affected for their understanding, tolerance and patience. We would remind members of the community that this type of crime is extremely rare in Devon and Cornwall. "

Stephen Price, 47, went missing from Great Western Close, Paignton about 10:30pm on Friday 2 May 2008 (Last year's May Bank Holiday weekend). Despite extensive enquiries and appeals to the public, Mr Price has not been seen since. Police are reiterating their appeal to anyone who may have any information as to the whereabouts of Stephen's body to come forward.

Notes For Editors

To date no body has been found.

We will not be undertaking any media interviews on the case at this stage.

For further information, contact CPS South West Press Office on 0117 930 1343 or 07827 896318.

The Crown Prosecution Service is the independent authority responsible for prosecuting criminal cases investigated by the police in England and Wales. It is responsible for:

  • Advising the police and reviewing the evidence on cases for possible prosecution
  • Deciding the charge where the decision is to prosecute
  • Preparing cases for court
  • Presenting cases at court

The CPS consists of 42 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). A telephone service, CPS Direct, provides out-of-hours advice and decisions to police officers across England and Wales. The CPS employs around 8,400 people and prosecuted 1,091,250 cases with an overall conviction rate of 85.1% in 2007-2008. Further information can be found on our website: www.cps.gov.uk

The CPS South West Group consists of the areas Avon & Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and Gloucestershire.

The CPS, together with ACPO and media representatives, has developed a Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media. This sets out the type of prosecution material that will normally be released, or considered for release, together with the factors we will take into account when considering requests. The Protocol is published on our website at:

http://www.cps.gov.uk/publications/agencies/mediaprotocol.html