Cane trial: police tell of on-the-run killer's arrest

PUBLISHED: 17:20 17 July 2013 | UPDATED: 17:20 17 July 2013

Andrew Cane

Andrew Cane


An Exmouth man who strangled his mum then fled the county boasted to his brother by text message at how he was 'too clever' for police - shortly before being arrested

A fugitive killer was arrested by a lone police woman when she spotted him coming out of a club three days after he went on the run.

The quick-witted officer recognised him from a briefing after he was traced to Gloucester by text messages sent back to his family in Exmouth, a jury has been told.

Andrew Cane fled in his mother’s car after killing her at the home they shared during an argument over his drug use in July last year.

He was said to be smiling and laughing when arrested outside a nightspot in the centre of Gloucester by woman police Sergeant Elizabeth Lovell and made no attempt to resist.

Roofer Cane, aged 31, of Port Mer Close, Exmouth, denies murdering his mother Linda Sheard, who was found strangled at the house.

A jury at Exeter Crown Court has heard he admits manslaughter but says he had no intention of killing his mother.

The prosecution say he attacked her, pinned her on the floor and strangled her from behind after she discovered he had been using cocaine in her house and threatened to evict him.

They say he took her wallet and withdrew £200 from a cash point which he spent on an all night cocaine spree before taking her car and going on the run.

The jury have heard that Cane was working with Narcotics Anonymous and had been at a support meeting in Exmouth just hours before the alleged murder.

They have been shown CCTV tracking his movements after the killing, showing him at the cash point at Tesco in Exmouth and picking up a taxi back to Port Mer Close the next morning.

The final footage showed him stopping at the Post Office in Woodbury on his way out of Exmouth before heading North.

Cane’s half brother Philip said he had tried to contact his brother after the killing on the night of July 10 to 11 but only got a reply on the phone two days later on July 13.

His call went to voicemail and so he sent texts urging him to make contact or give himself up.

He said: “I got a reply saying ‘no chance mate not going inside’ and another saying ‘no chance, I’m gone mate’. I sent another message saying I wasn’t going to ask where he was but asking him to text me.

“I got a text back at 1.39 pm which said ‘I’m too clever for a police tag. X’. I carried on texting him and said it was up to him what he did next.”

Police Sergeant Elizabeth Lovell said she was briefed at 10 pm on the search for Cane and believed she had seen him earlier in Spa Road, Gloucester.

She went on patrol and spotted him just after midnight outside the Regal pub/club in Kings Square, in the centre of Gloucester.

She said: “I saw him going in the direction of the Cathedral. I stopped him. He looked at me and smiled. I asked him his name and he said it was Terry.

“I replied ‘no it’s not, its Andy’ and he smiled. I told him I knew he was Andrew Cane. At this point I knew I had found the suspect. I tried to radio for assistance but it was busy.

“He asked if I could keep things low key and go round the corner and I replied I was not going to do so. He laughed and asked ‘can I have a cigarette before I get banged up for life?’.

“I replied I did not smoke and by this time I had communications and called for assistance. I had signaled discretely to the door staff to assist until police arrived.

“He seemed very relaxed and remained calm. I wanted to build a rapport so I asked why he had come to Gloucester. He said ‘Why not, I fancied visiting Cheltenham’.”

Pc Stephen Goldrich, who looked after Cane in the cells, said he overheard him making comments at 2.15 and 2.18.

He said: “He asked if his name had been all over the television. He said ‘It was a big mistake, you know. When I get back to Exmouth I don’t want to see my family. It was just a drug fuelled rage.”

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