Adam Chadwick murder: Unsolved Leeds killing leaves grieving parents facing '14 years of hell'

It was a knock at the door that would change a family forever, plunging two loving parents into "14 years of hell" and a fight for justice that has taken a greater toll with each passing day.

Adam Chadwick, a carpet fitter and keen footballer from Seacroft, was visiting his sister's home in Harehills on the evening of June 24, 2008.

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An unknown woman came to the door asking for ‘Michelle’ and she returned to the house in Clifton Mount at 10.40pm that night.

Adam Chadwick with his daughter, Ruby. Picture: SWNS

No longer alone, she was in the company of three men whose identities are still not known. One of them was armed with a Russian built Baikal converted gas handgun.

Within a short time of their arrival, a disturbance began and it was then that 20-year-old Adam suffered a gunshot injury which would ultimately claim his life.

Despite extensive police investigations and heartfelt appeals from the family every year since, nobody has ever been charged with his murder.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post as she renewed the family's plea for answers, mum Jackie Chadwick said: "It's 14 years. You think, 'why are we still doing what we have to do?'

Martin and Jackie Chadwick, with granddaughter Ruby, as they made an appeal for information in 2018 on the 10th anniversary of the shooting. Picture: Simon Hulme

"Four people went to Gemma's house that night. Why haven't we got justice? The people out there who are responsible or someone who knows them, surely after 14 years they know we deserve some closure now?

"We've had 14 years of hell; their lives have just carried on. Our lives will never be the same. There will always be something missing and we'll never get that back."

Adam's dad, Martin, added: "We just want to remember Adam, not what happened to him. It's nicer to do things for Adam in his memory than be having to make these appeals."

On the 10th anniversary of the murder in 2018, the family and police organised one of their biggest efforts to date to encourage people to come forward with the identity of the killers.

Police released the e-fit image, inset, of the woman who was seen knocking on doors in Clifton Mount that night.

Martin, Jackie and Adam's daughter, Ruby, spent the day in Harehills handing out fliers as a van with a huge digital display drove around the surrounding streets in a bid to jog someone's memory or prick someone's conscience.

While some calls came in as a result, there was nothing substantial enough to generate the breakthrough in the case that they still long for.

"I don't know how much more we can give," Jackie said. "It just drained us as a family.

"We were in that area where Adam was shot and that was really hard for us. For nothing to come of it, I could scream. I just don't know what else we can do.

"It fetches all these horrible things back, what happened that night. Two days on a life support machine. We don't want to remember all that. It's something we just want to forget about and focus instead on him as the person he was.

"We should be able to just move on and enjoy what life we can together as a family."

An e-fit image of the woman who knocked at the door and CCTV images of a car used by the murderers to escape the scene have been the focus of previous appeals by West Yorkshire Police investigators.

The woman is described as white, in her late 20s and 5ft 5in, with dark brown hair and olive skin.

Another potential lead is the blue Ford Focus C-Max believed to have been used by the woman and three men. CCTV footage showed it being stolen from Oatland Heights in Little London on June 11, almost a fortnight before the shooting.

It is known that the getaway car went along Clifton Mount and turned right into Hudson Road before heading down towards Compton Road, where it was lost from view.

The next day, the car was found abandoned at the corner of Chapeltown Road and Reginald Street in Chapeltown. An unsuccessful attempt had been made to set fire to the vehicle.

Its genuine number plate – registration YH54 SBV – was still fitted, but one of the car’s regular wheels was missing and its emergency spare wheel had been fitted to the rear offside in its place.

Detectives have previously said that they believe Adam was the victim of a case of mistaken identity.

It was a mistake that robbed his then three-year-old daughter of her dad, just a few days after her own birthday.

Gemma's young son, Adam, never got to meet his namesake but knows who he was and tells people that his uncle is up in heaven.

Jackie said: "It breaks Gemma's heart because Adam would have doted on him like he did Ruby.

"I'm angry at what it's taken from Ruby. No child should ever lose their father or mother the way we lost Adam. That's the hardest thing to come to terms with - the way we lost him."

Today, on the anniversary of Adam's death, members of the family will visit the grave and lay flowers.

But while they do, they will be unable to shut out the unanswered questions that linger after all this time.

Jackie said: "We want to be like normal parents who can just go and lay flowers without having to make an appeal every year.

"The people who are responsible, whatever they are doing with their lives, they need to search their conscience and give us, as a family, some closure. How would they feel if someone wouldn't help their family?

"They've taken our son away from us and they need to be charged with his murder and do the time for what they've done to us. It's us who's carrying all the guilt and the blame."

Martin, who is plagued by the feeling that he could have done something to stop the tragedy, added: "I didn't put a light outside the door at Gemma's. If there was a light there, if I had just put an extra bolt on the door... would it have made a difference?"

Anyone with any information that could help the investigation is asked to contact the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team via 101, quoting Operation Pimento.

Information can also be passed on anonymously via the Crimestoppers website or on 0800 555 111.