Doncaster missing body case ‘still open’ says top detective

June Buttle
June Buttle

The case of a South Yorkshire grandfather whose body has never been found after he was killed by his partner remains open, police said today.

Thomas Groome, aged 54, died on New Year’s Day 2010 after he was attacked by his partner June Buttle.

Thomas Groome

Thomas Groome

The 56-year-old from Doncaster town centre, who tried to steal Mr Groome’s money after his death, was jailed for 16 years for manslaughter after Sheffield Crown Court heard she struck Mr Groome over the head with a piece of wood.

It was alleged Miss Buttle’s son Jason Thaxter, who has never been charged with any offence, hit him with the wood and disposed of his body.

In court it emerged Buttle declined to name her accomplice but has given police a ‘geographical location’ which could be where Mr Groome’s body was disposed.

Senior investigating officer Detective Superintendent Lisa Ray said: “The case remains open.”

The court heard prostitute Buttle told friends Mr Groome’s body had been ‘dismembered and put on a bonfire’.

After his death Buttle told Mr Groome’s family he had left her for a younger woman and run away to Portugal. She posted regular messages on his Facebook page to make his family think he was alive and changed his relationship status to ‘single’.

Mr Groome’s children have spoken of their heartbreak at being unable to bury their father.

They said after he disappeared both his mother and sister had died and they had been devastated when he failed to turn up at their funerals.

His daughter Bridget Groome said: “I can’t begin to describe the heartache and upset she has caused my family. It’s beyond belief. The last five years has been mental torture.

“Not knowing how he was killed and not being able to bury Tommy has been indescribable.”

She added not having a grave to visit had been ‘horrific’ and she often passed rural areas and wondered if her brother’s body was lying there.

“Every time I hear on the news a body has been found I immediately think ‘is this going to be Tommy?’, she said.

Mr Groome’s son Jamie Barrie said his dad had missed the births of his two grandsons, which had broken his heart.

He added: “Dad deserved a proper burial and to rest in peace. I will never ever forgive June for what she did.”