01:00AM, Thursday 16 February 2012
The superintendent who led the investigation into the Maidenhead tattoo parlour shootings has praised all those who helped bring the case to a successful conclusion.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Rob Mason from Thames Valley Police Major Crime Unit said more than 100 officers had been involved at different stages.
"It has taken a long time for it to come to court," he said. "I'm absolutely delighted that such dangerous men are going to prison for such a long time."
Supt Mason described the scene which confronted officers on April 11 as one of 'confusion'. He praised the police and the other emergency services for their initial response which prevented the case from becoming a murder enquiry.
After tending to the stricken victims - the first main concern - scenes of crime officers were able to begin gathering evidence from the area.
Collating CCTV, phone records and witness statements then enabled police to 'paint a significant picture' of what had happened.
Multiple forces including Bedfordshire Police and the Metropolitan Police played a role in bringing those responsible to justice.
But despite this, Supt Mason explained that however confident they are about a case, officers are 'always mindful' that it can come across very differently in court.
"You never know how the witnesses are going to come across in the witness box," he said. "It's always a really nerve-wracking time when the jury goes out."
With all four defendants declining to give evidence, it was acknowledged during the trial that the full 'ins and outs' of what happened inside Fantasy Fine Line might never be revealed.
Supt Mason described this as a fact police have to 'get used to'. Having worked on major crime for 15 years he said the shootings were an 'incredibly rare' incident for the Maidenhead area.
See this week's Advertiser for a full round-up of the conclusion of the case.
Read the Advertiser's reports of how the trial unfolded below:
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