2 Held As Murder Probe Goes On

Illawarra Mercury

Sunday September 14, 1997

Two teenagers were in custody in Perth yesterday as homicide detectives continued to investigate their link to the strangling of teenager James Godden.

Richard Anthony James Leatch, 19, of Sydney, and Tammy May Sherratt, also 19, of Canberra, were refused bail when they were charged in the East Perth Magistrates Court with stealing James' 125cc trail bike.

The 14-year-old schoolboy from Byford, 35km south of Perth, was riding his bike in scrubland near his home last Sunday when he was murdered and his body dumped in a creek.

The couple had been camping in the hills near Byford for some time, but told police they left the area by bus the day after the murder.

In opposing bail, police prosecutor Sergeant Kym Kelly said Leatch had already breached bail on an unrelated offence.

A team of up to 40 police had been working around the clock on the murder investigation since late Friday, when Leatch and Sherratt were detained by police at Merredin, 260km east of Perth.

They were recognised by police searching the Sydney-bound Indian Pacific transcontinental train as part of a cordon on public transport leaving Western Australia.

The court was told they were "priority persons of interest" to police and knew more about the murder than had been made public.

"They supplied some significant information which we're now pursuing with great haste, hopefully towards bringing this murder (investigation) to a successful conclusion," a police spokesman said.

© 1997 Illawarra Mercury

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