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Monday, November 24, 1997 Published at 12:28 GMT


Bus driver charged over murder of Jamie
image: [ Jamie Lavis was last seen wandering through a bus station ]
Jamie Lavis was last seen wandering through a bus station

A man has been charged with the murder of eight-year-old Jamie Lavis, who disappeared from his home more than six months ago.

Bus driver Darren Vickers, 27, was remanded in custody for a week at a Manchester magistrates court. There was no application for bail.

Greater Manchester Police said tests confirmed that remains found on a golf course in Stockport in October were those of the missing boy. The search is continuing for more remains.

Mr Vickers, from Openshaw, Manchester, had already been charged with Darren's abduction.

Det Supt Roy Rainford said Mr Vickers was arrested at Strangeways prison, where he had been remanded in custody, and interviewed over the weekend before being charged with murder on Sunday night.

A date for committal to the Crown Court on both charges was fixed for January 12. Mr Vickers spoke twice during the brief hearing to confirm his name and date of birth.

"Reality hit them"

Mr Rainford said he believed Jamie had been killed on May 5 - the Bank Holiday Monday on which he vanished from his home in Openshaw, Manchester.

The officer told parents John, 30, and Karen, 36, that the body was that of their son and that Mr Vickers had been charged.

"I had a traumatic half hour with them when I broke the news," he said.

"However much we had tried to prepare them over the past few weeks I think reality hit them last night."

Jamie was last spotted on security cameras wandering through a bus station in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire.

Mr Rainford said he was still appealing for witnesses to come forward with information, however trivial they thought it might be.

Genetic fingerprint DNA tests were among the methods used to satisfy police the body was that of Jamie.

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