Murder victim’s parents criticise original investigation

Peter and Elizabeth Skelton, parents of Susan Nicholson, speaking outside court after Robert Trigg was sentenced for her murder. Picture: SWNS
Peter and Elizabeth Skelton, parents of Susan Nicholson, speaking outside court after Robert Trigg was sentenced for her murder. Picture: SWNS

The parents of a woman murdered by a ‘monster’ have criticised the the original police investigation following her death.

Robert Trigg, 52, was jailed for life today for the murder of Susan Nicholson, 52, in 2011, and the manslaughter of another girlfriend, Caroline Devlin, 35, in 2006.

Robert Trigg, pictured arriving at court earlier this week, has been found guilty of murder and manslaughter. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

Robert Trigg, pictured arriving at court earlier this week, has been found guilty of murder and manslaughter. Picture: Eddie Mitchell

In court today Caroline’s youngest son, Brandyn McKenna, described Trigg as a ‘monster’.

Both deaths at the time were ruled as non-suspicious, with coroner Michael Kendall ruling Ms Nicholson’s death was accidental at an inquest in 2011.

Trigg was only brought to justice after a five-year campaign by Ms Nicholson’s parents, Peter and Elizabeth Skelton, who suspected their daughter had been murdered.

The couple, both in their 80s, spent more than £10,000 of their life savings to pursue the case and bring their daughter’s killer to justice.

Speaking outside court today, 84-year-old Mr Skelton said: “He got a very long sentence and it will be years until he gets out now, and I think he’s got what he deserved. He’s a very nasty man. We’re pleased it’s done now.”

Mr Skelton criticised the 2011 police investigation, describing it as ‘inadequate’ and ‘a disgrace’, adding: “That’s why we had to take it on ourselves in the end. In fact, the way we look at it, the police should have done the investigation, not us. We had to do it in the end because we were forced to.”

Mr Skelton added: “The police just didn’t listen. All the times we were writing to them they just didn’t listen. When it happened to Sue they already knew about Caroline and they knew about some of his previous convictions, they already knew he attacked Sue on quite a few occasions, yet they didn’t investigate.”

Her mother revealed that about week before she died Susan had told her that if anything happened to her, the flat was to go to her two sons.

Mr Skelton said: “She seemed very concerned about that and we often wonder that she might have been warning us in some way that something was going on.”

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Elizabeth Skelton, 80, said: “Our fight still goes on, we want answers to unexplained questions now. Why it was the police were not able to bring this case to court when us, Sue’s parents, in our 80s have managed to?”

Yesterday Sussex Police apologised to the families of the victims for not presenting all the facts to the Crown Prosecution Service, but said they were confident they had investigated both cases thoroughly.

Trigg, of Worthing, West Sussex, was jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for the murder of Susan Nicholson, and 11 years, to be served concurrently, for the manslaughter of Caroline Devlin.