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Charging decision in the Claire Tiltman case


Nigel Pilkington, Head of the Complex Casework Unit for the Crown Prosecution Service South East, said: "In November 2012 I received a file of evidence from Kent Police relating to the murder of Claire Tiltman on 18 January 1993.

"The investigation by the police has been a lengthy and complex one. Following further investigation, my review of all the evidence in the case has now been completed. I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute Colin Ash-Smith, 45, for the murder of Claire Tiltman on 18 January 1993 in Greenhithe, Kent.

"Mr Ash-Smith will appear at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on 28 February 2014.

"May I remind all concerned that Colin Ash-Smith has a right to a fair trial. It is very important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further."

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate Cold Case Team, said: "Claire Tiltman's unsolved death is one of the longest running cases for Kent Police and has remained in the forefront of the minds of investigating officers for over two decades. Colin Ash-Smith is now to be brought before a court following our investigations and subsequent consultation with the CPS."


Notes to Editors

  1. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906; Out of Hours Pager 07699 781 926
  2. The CPS consists of 13 Areas in total, each headed by a Chief Crown Prosecutor (CCP). In addition, there are four national casework divisions: Central Fraud, Welfare Rural & Health, Special Crime & Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime. A 'virtual' 14th Area is CPS Direct which provides charging decisions to all police forces and other investigators across England and Wales - it operates twenty-four hours, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
  3. At 31 March 2013 we employed a workforce of approximately 6840 staff (full time equivalent), including around 2350 prosecutors and 4110 caseworkers and administrators. Further information can be found on our website:
  4. 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. Read the Protocol for the release of prosecution material to the media.