Man found guilty of Robert 'Riley' Workman murder


A man has today, Monday, 05 November 2012, been found guilty at St Albans Crown Court of the murder of retired Lieutenant Colonel, 83-year-old Robert 'Riley' Workman, who was shot dead on the doorstep of his home in Furneux Pelham in 2004.

33-year-old Christopher Docherty-Puncheon (formerly Nudds) of Stocking Pelham has been sentenced to 32-years in prison. He has been on trial at St Albans Crown Court since 02 October 2012. He was found guilty following more than 17-hours of deliberation by the jury. He had been charged in July 2010 following a re-examination of evidence.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "This case involved the cold-blooded murder of 83-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Robert 'Riley' Workman at his home in Furneaux Pelham in January 2004, almost nine years ago.

"Christopher Docherty-Puncheon has today been found guilty of the murder of Colonel Workman.

"Today's guilty verdict brings a successful end to a complex and lengthy investigation by Hertfordshire Constabulary. We have worked closely with them throughout the investigation and the guilty verdict reflects the strength of the prosecution case.

"This case highlights to the public that both the CPS and the police are committed to continually reviewing and detecting unsolved cases and that victims and their families should never give up hope.  We will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure that criminals are brought to justice.

"This also sends a very clear message to anyone who thinks that they have escaped justice for serious offences that our determination to ensure that justice is done remains undimmed, even years after offences are committed.

"I hope that today's outcome gives some sense of justice to the victim's family, with the knowledge that the person who killed Colonel Workman has been convicted and punished.  Our thoughts are very much with them all at this time."

Senior Investigating Officer Detective Superintendent Bill Jephson said: "The events on the evening of 07 January 2004, instigated an investigation, which was extremely complex and far-reaching. Continuous reviews of the case have taken place over the years and subsequently resulted in the charge of Christopher Docherty-Puncheon."

Bill continued: "This was a shocking and senseless crime and understandably the case attracted significant national and international media attention. We had pledged never to close the books on this case and to bring Riley's killer to justice. Today, nearly nine years since he was shot dead this has been achieved.

"Whilst justice cannot bring Riley back, I hope his family, who have been supported by officers since his death, can find some comfort in the sentence his killer has been given."

Riley was a very private man, but had enjoyed a varied life with a long and distinguished career in the army followed by work in the antiques business. During the trial into his death the court heard how Christopher Docherty-Puncheon had killed Riley with a shotgun on his doorstep on the evening of 07 January 2004. The weapon has never been found. The court also heard how he had killed 21-year-old Fred Moss in Cambridgeshire later that year.

Bill added: "Docherty-Puncheon is a cold and calculating man responsible for the murders of two men. He has never given a reason as to why he killed Riley and has protested his innocence throughout.

"I would like to thank Riley's family who have worked with us closely since the murder. We pledged we would never give up on this case and they have showed incredible strength, resilience and support throughout. I would also like to thank all those officers and staff who have been involved in the case since 2004; the witnesses who have attended and given evidence at court, the local community for their perseverance, and the wider prosecution team."