Anniversary of Sheffield prostitute murder approaches – 17 years after stabbing

The anniversary of the murder of a Sheffield prostitute is approaching – 17 years after she was stabbed to death.

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Michaela Hague, aged 25, was found slumped in a pool of blood on a remote car park on the outskirts of Sheffield city centre on November 5, 2001.

Murder victim Michaela Hague

Murder victim Michaela Hague

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The mum-of-one was knifed 19 times after being picked up from Bower Street, off Corporation Street, where she was plying her trade in what was Sheffield ‘red light district’ at that time.

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She was found on a dark car park on Spitalfields, off Nursery Street, by another sex worker who raised the alarm.

PC Richard Twigg jotted down details of Michaela's attacker on his hand after she spoke to him before she died

PC Richard Twigg jotted down details of Michaela's attacker on his hand after she spoke to him before she died

An old-style blue Ford Sierra was seen driving away from Michaela but the car was never traced.

Michaela, whose son was just five years old when when she died, was working as a prostitute to fund her heroin use.

PC Richard Twigg, who was the first police officer to arrive at the crime scene, spoke to Michaela about the attack and was told the culprit was white, clean-shaven and wore a wedding ring.

She told the officer where her attacker had picked her up from and said he was around 38 years old, 6ft tall and was wearing a blue fleece and glasses.

The murder investigation which followed was one of the biggest ever mounted by South Yorkshire Police, with thousands of interviews carried out and statements taken but to date nobody has yet been charged.

National appeals for information were made on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme.

On the tenth anniversary of the murder, Michaela’s partner at the time of her death, Mick Holmes, urged anyone with information to come forward, claiming he feared the killer could strike again.

“There can be no bigger sin than taking a mother away from her child.” he said.

“What he did to Michaela, something so savage, is not the kind of thing somebody just does once – I am convinced he has either done it before or will do it again, although I pray he doesn’t so that no other family has to go through what we have.

“I just want him locked up – I would rest a lot easier knowing he wasn’t out there able to do this again. My one fear is he will do it again.”

Detectives who investigated the death had to identify all the men who regularly used street prostitutes in Sheffield at that time.

They spoke to other sex workers about their clients and experiences.

In a bid to encourage men who knew Michaela to come forward to eliminate themselves from the investigation, detectives threatened to track them down and visit them at home.

During the inquest into Michaela’s death, Sheffield Coroner Chris Dorries said he hoped advances in technology would eventually lead detectives to the killer.

Recording a verdict that Michaela was unlawfully killed, Mr Dorries said: “As science and technology improves every day the evidence to identify Ms Hague’s killer will very likely become apparent – her killer will be found, it may be soon, it may be in five years” he said.

Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.