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Female firefighter pays tribute to Claire Tiltman

Sian Griffiths is a firefighter with London Fire Brigade and joined the brigade in 1985. She pays tribute to Claire Tiltman, the teenager murdered in Greenhithe in 1993. Claire's dream was to become a firefighter.

She used to visit her local fire station while doing her Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Claire's killer Colin Ash-Smith has been jailed for life for her murder.

Praise for family and friends after killer jailed for life

Mr Justice Sweeney said the tireless efforts of Claire's family and friends kept the pressure on to track down her killer.

He said: "The efforts of Claire's family and friends kept her murder in the public conscience, and thanks to the recent re-activation of the inquiry by Kent police, further evidence came to light and you have finally been brought to justice."

Ash-Smith's mother Linda could face criminal charges for providing her son with a false alibi for the night of the killing.

Asked about this possibility, Detective Superintendent Rob Vinson, one of the leads on the investigation, said: "We haven't considered that yet. It will need to be looked at."

DSI Vinson said Ash-Smith could have been back on the streets if he had not been charged with Claire's murder the day the parole board was to decide if he was fit for release.

He said there was a "strong likelihood" Ash-Smith would have been released for home visits and day release.

Today's sentence means Ash-Smith will be 67 before he is considered for release.


Judge Sweeney in sentencing Ash-Smith: 'you ended Claire's life which was so full of promise'

Full ITV Meridian programme: the evil killer of Claire Tiltman

The full ITV Meridian programme: After a 21-year campaign for justice, a former milkman has been convicted of the murder of schoolgirl Claire Tiltman in a 'frenzied and remorseless' attack in Kent.

A jury took less than four hours to find Colin Ash-Smith guilty of the killing in Greenhithe. Claire was stabbed to death on her way to a friend's house.

VIDEO: Change in the law brings murderer to justice

Today Colin Ash-Smith was found guilty of murder - more than 20 years after he stabbed schoolgirl Claire Tiltman.

At the time of the killing the circumstantial evidence against him was significant but not strong enough to go to trial. But a change in the law - and some vital new evidence changed that.

This report from Jonathan Marland, who covered Claire's murder from the start and investigated the case for an ITV Meridian documentary.


Diary of evil: murderer describes how he stalks women

Video report. Former milkman Colin Ash-Smith, 46, has been found guilty of murdering schoolgirl Claire Tiltman in a "frenzied and remorseless" attack in 1993. Ash-Smith kept a diary of his attempts to attack women.

We spoke to Kevin Hand, Friend of the Ash-Smiths, a victim speaking in 1997 and Nigel Pilkington, from the Crown Prosecution Service.

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