Family of Sunderland shopworker Joan Hoggett thank detectives as television documentary offers insight into inquiry

The family of Sunderland great-grandmother Joan Hoggett have given an insight into the help detectives gave them during their nightmare ordeal after she was stabbed to death at work.

By Fiona Thompson
Thursday, 25 July, 2019, 10:08

Joan, 62, was attacked during her shift at the One Stop shop in Sea Road, Fulwell, Sunderland, in September last year.

Her family have opened their hearts after the investigation featured in the second episode of prime-time series ‘Our Cops in the North’, which was aired on BBC One last night, Wednesday, July 24.

The latest instalment followed Detective Constable Kimberley Hinds, who acts as a family liaison officer to Joan’s family and has been with them from the very first days of the case.

Joan Hoggett was working at the One Stop in Sea Road, Fulwell, when she was attacked.

Joan’s daughter, Michelle, has paid tribute to Det Con Hinds and says she has been “an officer, a counsellor and a friend” to the family over the last 10 months.

“Kimberley has been a huge help for us – we wouldn’t have got through this without her,” Joan’s daughter, Michelle, said.

Last night’s episode showed the police investigation that followed Joan’s killing and the subsequent conviction of 19-year-old Ethan Mountain who was responsible for her death.

Mountain, of Heaton Gardens, South Shields, admitted manslaughter with diminished responsibility but denied murdering the grandmother – claiming he was “not in the right frame of mind” at the time of the offence.

Joan Hoggett's death left the Sunderland community devastated.

In March, a Newcastle Crown Court judge ordered a jury to find Mountain not guilty of one count of murder on the grounds that his mental responsibility for the killing was diminished.

Mountain, who was admitted to a psychiatric hospital in 2017 and treated with anti-psychotic medication, was told he would spend an indefinite length of time in a secure hospital.

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Reflecting on the case, Det Con Hinds – who joined Northumbria Police in 2001 - said: “I’m not ashamed to say I cried when I watched the CCTV.

“Joan could have been my gran – that’s what I kept thinking. This investigation had every twist and turn, but throughout it all, Joan’s family showed such incredible strength and dignity.

Detective Constable Kimberley Hind, who supported the family of Joan Hoggett following the shop worker's tragic death.

“I have total admiration for them.”

Through her role as a detective and a specialist family liaison officer (FLO), Det Con Hinds has worked with dozens of families who have had to endure the heartache and anguish of losing a loved one.

And it is a role that she is incredibly passionate about, knowing she is often the first port of call for those in bereavement during and following a major crime investigation.

“You go into someone’s house knowing you’re going to be the face of the Force for that family – the person they turn to for months and sometimes years to come,” Det Con Hinds, 39, said.

Ethan Mountain.

“It’s a huge responsibility.”

The third episode of the ‘Our Cops in the North’ series, made by 72 Films, will air next Wednesday, July 31, at 9pm on BBC One.

A further three episodes will also be aired later in the year.