CCTV in Warwick district played a crucial role in catching triple murderer Anthony Russell.
The 39-year-old killed three times in the space of seven days in October 2020 – including pregnant 31-year-old Nicole McGregor, who a jury heard was raped and beaten to death by Russell in woodland at Leamington’s Newbold Comyn.
More than 3,900 hours of Warwick District Council (WDC) CCTV footage was seized by police in the hunt for Russell.
Following reports Nicole was missing, the council’s CCTV team trawled through footage from town centre cameras looking for her.
Concern escalated for Leamington resident Nicole, who was 18 weeks pregnant at the time, after mother and son, Julie Williams and David Williams, were found murdered in Coventry.
After the discovery of their bodies, Russell fled his home city to neighbouring Leamington where he met Nicole, who he did not previously know.
Clear CCTV images captured Russell in the company of Nicole as they walked towards Newbold Comyn.
The footage helped convict Russell who was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail with no possibility of parole.
The inquiry, led by West Midlands Police, became one of the biggest operations the council’s CCTV team had been involved with.
WDC community protection spokeswoman Coun Judy Falp said: “The incredible work of our resilient CCTV team assisted in the swift arrest of Anthony Russell.
“What happened was tragic, and our thoughts remain with the victims’ families.
“CCTV is vital for reducing crime and the fear of crime across the district. The recent upgrade of our systems has allowed us to provide high-quality images for evidential purposes and can assist the authorities greatly when time is of the essence.”