Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Unsolved Murder of Stephen Sweeney

The murder of Tyneside businessman Stephen Sweeney had all the hallmarks of a professional hit, in that he was shot several times whilst sat at his desk in the factory he owned.  Mr Sweeney, 45, owned Cascade Furniture Factory which was located on the Stoneygate Industrial Estate, in the Felling district of Gateshead.  He was found slumped over his desk by his long term partner Carol Taylor, and their 7 year old daughter Siobham.  Police set up a huge squad devoted to this case, involving 60 officers, and they did uncover some details, which may have had a bearing on the case.

    They uncovered details of shady deals, and that the company was in financial straits.  Some time before his death, Tonegate Ltd, an upholstery firm, plus Cascade Upholstery, had been wound up, with the accounts last filed in 1996, owing £25,000 to the Vatman - now HMRC - plus £74,000 to its creditors.   The scale of the Police manhunt can be gauged that they questioned 9,000 people, and it was thought a major breakthrough had occurred when four people were arrested but later released without charge.  Police still conduct reviews of the case, and the family still make appeals for information, but sadly, all these years on, there is still no resolution.