20 March 2010
I receive a phone call from Ian Hurst of Kinder Mountain Rescue – part of the team that searched for Fred Handford on Ollersett Moor in 1976.
“We were only the surface team, we didn’t go underground,” he says. “But I do remember there was mention of a shotgun.”
“Oh,” I say, surprised. “I was told there was a shotgun at Ball Beard Farm but that it hadn’t been used.” Janet had told me that the police had taken the gun away.
“Could be my memory playing tricks,” said Ian, apologising. “But I’ll have a look at the records; I might find something, although I can’t promise, since it was so long ago.”
I thank him for calling and hang up.
26 March 2010
Following my letter regarding Freedom of Information, Stuart Barlow from Derbyshire Police calls. He explains that it might be a good idea to withdraw my FOI request and replace it with a ‘subject access’ request. He says that once a FOI request has been made anyone else can then have access to that information and “if you’ve worked hard to get at the info you don’t want someone else, a journalist for example, coming in and getting all the info straight away.” I agree with him but try to reserve a small shred of scepticism: are the police usually this helpful? I prepare a letter asking Janet to allow me access to her statement.
She gets back to me straight away. She doesn’t mind at all.