Julie Dorsett vanished from East London two decades ago. Despite extensive searches, the 33-year-old sex worker was never found – until a human skull and two bones were discovered six years after she disappeared. 2002 was the year she went missing from Hackney and it was only on August 28, 2008 that her body parts were unearthed at Low Hall Farm Allotments in Bridge Road. However, Julie’s murder still remains a mystery to this day.
When Charles Joseph was clearing the allotment, he emptied an old water tank and discovered a human skull and two bones. Police were called and more bones were found inside an old duvet. Following extensive forensic examination and DNA testing, the remains were identified as Julie’s, whose only son was just 13-years-old when she went missing.
Police spent the following days carrying out searches of the area, including several digs, but the rest of the 33-year-old’s body was never found. Furthermore, a post-mortem examination failed to confirm the cause of death.
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Julie’s ex-partner, Sinclair Lewis, was charged with her murder in 2011 but was acquitted after two trials. During the first trial jurors were unable to reach a verdict, and the judge in the second trial ordered jurors to dismiss the murder accusation and reach a decision on a manslaughter charge instead. Mr Lewis was found not guilty of manslaughter and preventing the lawful burial of a body.
The court heard how an undercover officer moved in next door to Mr Lewis’ home in Peterborough in November 2009 in a bid to gather evidence against him. The undercover cop even moved in with him, and despite taping all their conversations, did not find any incriminating evidence.
The prosecution alleged Mr Lewis’ relationship with the 33-year-old was violent, a claim Mr Lewis always denied. It was also said that the allotment where Julie’s body was found was once owned by Mr Lewis and his family. She even used to visit the allotment herself and was known by some residents in the area.
In March 2009, the Metropolitan Police offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the 33-year-old’s killer or killers. Detective Inspector Andy Chalmers, who was leading the investigation, said at the time: “Julie was a known sex worker, heavy drinker and drugs user who frequented Upper Clapton and Stoke Newington areas. She was well known in her community and didn’t travel very far. There are people who know about her disappearance and have information on how she died and what happened to her remains. I urge them to come forward.”
Despite the extensive appeals, no one has ever been convicted and Julie’s death remains a mystery.
Anyone with information regarding Miss Dorsett’s death is asked to call the police on 101. To remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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