Former head of CID dies aged 83

A detective who investigated some of the most notorious crimes in Lancashire over three decades has died at the age of 83.

Wednesday, 17th August 2016, 8:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th August 2016, 9:24 am
Norman Finnerty

Former Det Chief Supt Norman Finnerty, who was head of Lancashire CID in the 1980s, passed away peacefully in hospital.

The “copper’s copper” joined the county’s Constabulary in October 1956 at a time when beat officers still carried whistles to summon assistance.

Within seven years he became a detective and one of the earliest cases he worked on was the infamous Moors Murders investigation where sadistic couple Ian Brady and Myra Hindley kidnapped and killed five children before hiding their bodies on the moors near Saddleworth.

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As Mr Finnerty rose through the ranks he began to head up investigations and was in charge of many notable inquiries including a triple murder in Christ Church Street, Preston in 1987 in which three men were all stabbed to death in their bedsits and then set on fire.

In 1984 he led the investigation into the death of 96-year-old Elizabeth Howard, beaten to death during a robbery at her home in Lulworth Avenue, Preston. And in 1991, shortly before his retirement from the force, he led the inquiry into the IRA bombing of an RAF recruiting office in Fishergate Preston. He hung up his warrant card in 1992 after 35 years in the force and went on to train young detectives.

Away from policing he was a keen golfer and became a captain and then president of Penwortham Golf Club.

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: “Det Chief Supt Finnerty was involved in many high profile cases. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.”

His funeral service will be held at Preston Crematorium on Monday at 11.15am. Instead of flowers, donations are requested to Age Concern Central Lancashire.