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Notorious 'Dracula' murderer from Shepway, Maidstone, dies in prison


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A notorious killer from Maidstone, who continued to protest his innocence after being convicted of mutilating and maiming his victim, has died in prison.

Jeffrey Cattell was dubbed 'Dracula' for butchering neighbour James Milne with a pair of scissors and trying to hack his head off in a drink-fuelled rage at a flat in Inverness House, Shepway, 25 years ago.

Jeff Cattell protested his innocence until his death
Jeff Cattell protested his innocence until his death
Inverness House, Shepway estate, Maidstone. Picture: Google
Inverness House, Shepway estate, Maidstone. Picture: Google

Despite his conviction, the 61-year-old continued an appeal to residents on the Shepway estate to come forward with information he insisted would prove it was a miscarriage of justice.

During an exclusive interview with the KM in 2006, Cattell said it was believed drug dealers were behind the murder for which he was framed.

Posters were displayed around Shepway and Park Wood asking for new witnesses to come forward.

KM coverage of Jeffrey Cattell court case from Shepway, Maidstone
KM coverage of Jeffrey Cattell court case from Shepway, Maidstone

Speaking from HMP Rye Hill, Warwickshire, after being jailed for life in 1999, the father-of-three said: "If you do know something about it, use your conscience.

"This wasn't a nice thing what happened, the person that did this was unbalanced. If I'm not the fellow that did it, then the person that did is still out there.

"If you know something, let the truth come out."

The case was reviewed by the Criminal Case Review Commission.

Cattell spent time in prison in Canterbury and in Belmarsh while on remand, and following his conviction was sent to Swaleside prison before moving to Rye Hill in 2002.

While in prison he was allowed to work for a marketing company called Summit Media, whose clients include Panasonic Europe and Pedigree Masterfoods.

Cattell died at HMP Shotts in April 2020 due to a heart attack, heart disease and respiratory failure, according to the Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAI) decision released on Friday.

He had collapsed after collecting a pair of glasses.

Cattell was sentenced to life in prison in February 1999 at The Old Bailey in London.

The Kent Messenger reported at the time that the Aberdeen-born victim, known as “Scottish Jim”, had been stabbed repeatedly with a double-edged kitchen knife and partially dismembered.

One witness described him as a “latter-day Dracula.” while Detective Mick Judge described it as “the worst” case he'd seen in 15 years.

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