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Devizes security scare
Devizes solicitor Jim Ward is still critically ill in hospital with his family at his bedside a week after being shot in the head in his office.
Wiltshire Police are continuing their investigations into the shooting at Morris, Goddard and Ward and have spoken to more than 100 people since the incident.
Inspector Ron Peach of Devizes police said: “We have carried out a lot of door-to-door interviews around the town and they have progressed very well. People have been very co-operative and supportive. We are very thankful for the information given to us.
“It was as a result of information on the day of the offence that led to a very quick arrest.”
A mobile police station was in the Market Place last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and on Monday, a week after the incident, outside the solicitors’ offices.
Mr Ward is in a serious but stable condition at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, where members of his family maintain a round-the-clock vigil.
Meanwhile other solicitors in the town have been reviewing their own security measures in the wake of the attack last Monday, during which Mr Ward was shot a close range with a sawn-off shotgun.
Jonathan Shipton, partner in charge of the Devizes office of Goughs in the Market Place, said: “We were all shocked and surprised. You don’t expect anything like this to happen in a town like Devizes.
“Security is something we always keep under review but in a pleasant place such as this with a low crime rate it isn’t at the forefront of our minds. In places like Bristol it is quite common for you not to be able to get in to a solicitors’ office without using a security phone.”
Andrew Jenkins of Wansbroughs said his firm is also reviewing security. He said: “This has been a shocking, awful business. Jim is a lovely man who has had his whole life taken away from him.”
n Michael Chudley, 62, formerly of Rowde, is due to appear at Winchester Crown Court next Wednesday on charges of the attempted murder of Mr Ward, threats to kill a member of staff at Morris, Goddard and Ward, possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and carrying a firearm with criminal intent.
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