Colonel was killed with buckshot

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The Independent Online

A rare type of ammunition, known as "buckshot", was used to murder a retired colonel on the doorstep of his home in a Hertfordshire village, police said yesterday.

The type of shotgun cartridge fired at Robert "Riley" Workman is usually used by gamekeepers and landowners to cull deer, and rarely used in crime, detectives said. The cartridge, which contained nine pea-sized pellets, is the latest clue in the murder of the 83-year-old in Furneux Pelham on 7 January. The nearest supplier of the ammunition is in Barnet, north London.

The police's belief that the killer has strong local links is supported by the release of the transcript of a 999 call made after the murder from a public telephone box in the village of Braughing, about three miles from Furneux Pelham. The call was logged about nine hours after the widower was shot in the torso.

The caller was a man, thought to be in his 50s or 60s, who spoke with a rural north Hertfordshire accent and had good knowledge of the area.

Detective Superintendent Richard Mann, who is leading the investigation, described the cartridge: "It is a type of ammunition normally used by a landowner or gamekeeper," he said. "There are several manufacturers and importers but it's not commonly used and none of this specific type of cartridge are sold locally."