Man who shot a taxi driver in cold blooded execution style killing over 10 years ago dies in prison

Colin Cheetham, 71, convicted of killing taxi driver Stuart Ludlam in 2009 has died in prison, according to reports.

A Prison Service spokesperson confirmed Cheetham had died at HMP Wakefield on 1 May.

The gun fanatic who lured Mr Ludlam to a deserted, Cromford railway station and shot him dead was jailed for a minimum of 30 years in 2010.

Colin Cheetham, who was 61 at the time of the killing, appeared to have no motive for the senseless murder of his victim.

Ludlam was called to Cromford railway station by Cheetham who was lying in wait. Ludlam was shot as soon as he arrived at Cromford station. The first shot hit Mr Ludlam in the head as he sat in the driver's seat, but did not kill him.

He was then marched by Cheetham out of the taxi and ordered to kneel before him. Cheetham then killed him in cold blood, in what was described as an execution style killing. He was found with two gunshot wounds to the head by a man, who called 999.

During the trial it was claimed that Cheetham was caught only because he made the error of topping up his mobile phone – which had been bought with cash and used to call Mr Ludlam to the scene of the crime – on his credit card.

Former Head of Crime, Detective Chief Superintendent Tony Blockley, from Derbyshire police, said at the time of Cheetham’s conviction: "Colin Cheetham is an evil man who carried out a despicable act which was seemingly motiveless. "This crime was totally unpredictable. My own personal point of view is that he has executed Mr Ludlam simply to see what it would be like to kill someone due to his personal fascination with firearms.

"My only hope is at some point he can explain to someone why he has done this as we have never been able to prove a motive or glean the real story about what happened from Cheetham. That leaves many unanswered questions for Mr Ludlam's family and friends."

According to BBC News, a prison service spokesperson confirmed Cheetham had died, and said the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman had been informed.

Image credit: Derbyshire Constabulary

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