United Kingdom

Mother of missing Terry McSpadden, 24, hopes to find his body so she can lay him to rest 

A mother whose son went missing two weeks after he was drugged and wrapped in industrial clingfilm has urged anyone with information to 'do the right thing' and 'come forward' so she can finally lay him to rest.

Terry McSpadden was last seen on March 2, 2007, in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, aged 24 - and since then, there’s been no shortage of speculation as to what happened or who was responsible. 

He has had no contact with friends, and his body has never been found - but while his mother Helen knows he might now be dead and that she’ll never see her son again, she wants answers and justice.

Speaking on The Missing Podcast, Helen says: 'I've had the feeling ever since that there's just something wrong and that I wasn't going to see Terry again. 'I don't know how or why, I just knew in my heart of hearts, he just wasn't coming back. 

'I've got pictures of Terry on my fridge - I talk to him every day. He's just never going to answer my questions. He's never going to say, "I love you mum again." It's like a mental torture."' 

Terry McSpadden (pictured) went missing in 2007 - and since then, there’s been no shortage of speculation as to what happened or who was responsible.

Terry's mum Helen (right and left, Terry's stepfather, Gerald Thrower) knows her son might now be dead, but she wants answers,  justice, and most of all, she just wants to lay her son to rest

On March 2, 2007, after an ordinary evening playing darts in his local pub in Cambridge, Terry was caught on CCTV withdrawing some money from the Tesco in town around 1am.

He then headed back to Elm - a small village just two miles away where he was staying with a friend. That CCTV footage is the last confirmed sighting of Terry for 14 years - where he went next and what happened to him has been the focus of his mother's life ever since.

Terry had been having a bit of a turbulent time - all centering around his relationship with girlfriend, Becky. After the couple had yet another fallout, he spent the festive period with his mum and family. 

'We had a lovely Christmas day and Boxing day,' says Helen. 'Terry never showed any signs of anything being wrong. Usually he'd tell us things - but there was nothing to indicate that he'd disappear, or leave, or anything along them lines.'

If anything, things perked up as Terry moved back into the family home - but it wasn't long before he and Becky were at war again.

'I think he was there for about a month and then they fell out again and that is when he went to live at Jonathan Porter's house,' explains Helen. 

Terry and Jonathan had been pals for years and had known each other through school - but their relationship as flatmates hadn't always gone smoothly. 

Helen recalls one story which she claims Terry told her, and although it can't be clarified, she says it made her think twice.

Terry disappeared March 2, 2007 after a night out at the Locomotive pub in Wisbech (pictured)

'He was in this nightclub with a girl and Jonathan Porter walked into the nightclub. When Terry came home he said, "I don't know how he knew I was there - he must've followed me."

'I do know Terry changed his pin number on his phone because apparently Jonathan looked into his phone when Terry left it laying about. Terry was a bit freaked out with him sometimes.'

But there's one strange event that Helen remembers Terry telling her about that's hard to fathom.

'Apparently Terry had had a couple of beers and had laid on the couch and fell asleep and he woke up because he could feel himself suffocating and couldn't breathe,' says Helen.

'He was clingfilmed up on this settee. I don't know how they'd cocooned him in it, but suddenly Jonathan appeared and cut Terry out of it. Terry thinks he was drugged and injected with something. 


Name: Terry McSpadden

Date of Disappearance: March 2nd, 2007

Age at time of disappearance: 24

Last known whereabouts: Wisbech,

Who can help:

- Did you see Terry on the Thursday night - before or after he left the pub? 

- Did you see where he went next, who he spoke to, or who he was with? 

- Have you heard anything about what happened to Terry? 

- Has anyone spoken about his final movements? 

'He didn't report it to the police - which in hindsight was a stupid thing not to have done. For whatever reason he didn't - whether he was too scared - I'll never know. How did anyone get that near? Terry was absolutely terrified.' 

There was no evidence Jonathan was involved.

By March, Jonathan and Terry had clearly put any differences behind them. On the night Terry disappeared it was Jonathan, as well as Jonathan's dad and another mate who were drinking and playing darts together at the pub. Jonathan is also captured standing next to Terry as he withdraws money from the Tesco cash point.

Eight hours later, Terry's boss at Economy Windows called Terry's aunt and notified her that he hadn't turned up for work.

After Helen reported Terry as a missing person, Jonathan - as his flatmate, friend and potentially the last person to have seen him - was quickly spoken to by police.

He said he remembered Terry leaving for work around 7.10am that morning - and later discovered there was some money and jewellery missing from his belongings, which he assumed Terry had taken - something which Helen finds extremely hard to believe.

'He had no reason to disappear,' she says. 'I know he wouldn't have gone without saying goodbye to us - especially to the children, and to me.'

In the next few weeks, police started paying attention to the events which saw Terry, aged 23, get a conviction to a drink-related incident. 

'One night him and some friends were a bit rowdy and the police were called,' explains Helen. It was actually nothing to do with Terry to start with. But Terry being Terry, “No they’re my mates, I'm going to stay with them.” So he got arrested as well, and he ended up in court and he ended up with a tag.'

Terry’s punishment was a curfew, from 7pm on Friday night to 7am on Sunday morning - he had to be at his home address - and he was fitted with an electronic tag. 

The police had spoken to the security company - Serco - which operated the tag, but, according to their records, it showed Terry to be at the property it was registered to - his friend Jonathan’s address - until 8:43am on the Friday morning - much later than the 7am that he was supposed to have left the house. 

Police also managed to get remote access to Terry's phone, and discovered some text messages which seemed to have been sent the morning after the last known sighting of Terry on the Tesco CCTV cameras.

Terry's mother Helen urged anyone with information to come forward in fresh appeal

'His phone was used that morning to text Ian, who he worked for to say, “I'm sorry, not coming in today, not coming back”, says Helen. 'And when Ian tried to ring him back, straight away, the phone had been turned off.

And then apparently he sent Becky one saying, “tell the kids, I love them. I'm not coming back. It's all your fault you bitch.'”

But while the text messages sound definite, and certainly full of emotion, Helen is skeptical that they were written by her son.

'I could understand him probably saying he wasn't going into work, but not that he wouldn't be coming back ‘cause he enjoyed his job,' she says. 'And the one to Becky, he would have gone around and seen the kids and said goodbye. He wouldn't have done it in a text message.'

But the biggest bombshell of the case was when Jonathan, Terry’s friend was officially declared as a suspect.

He was arrested, and, upon questioning, his version of events from the night Terry disappeared took a radical turn.

Back in 2007, Jonathan had been due in court, accused of hitting his girlfriend’s young daughter.


Every two minutes someone in the UK goes missing.

Most are found within 48 hours.

Within a year 99 percent are located

Every year 2,000 vanish without a trace

Charity Missing People receive 58,000 calls for help a year

In Jonathan's new statement to the police, he claimed that it was actually Terry who had hit the little girl, and - after the pair had been to the cashpoint, at 1am, on that Thursday night - he'd taken Terry to Wisbech Police Station to confess.

And while there is no record of Jonathan and Terry going into the police station that night, there was CCTV and a witness who did see a van, which could potentially place them both there, outside Wisbech police station. 

Jonathan said that that was why Terry had disappeared - but neither Helen nor a court believed that to be true.  

So with Jonathan’s story changing from the one he’d given in 2007, police decided he was a suspect and he was officially arrested in 2012. 

Terry's case was escalated to an active murder investigation and police carried out a major search of the countryside around the area of Terry’s last known movements, including the garden of the house they had lived in together - but nothing was found. 

'In some ways yes, I would have liked him to find something, to give us some peace, says Helen. '...'And I'm sure even if they do find Terry’s body, that it's still going to haunt me for the rest of my life. What happened? Why wasn’t I there to save him? It's just like a mental torture.'

Police felt they had enough to charge Jonathan with Terry’s murder, but when the case reached a court in 2013, a judge dismissed it, citing insufficient evidence.  

'I'm a hundred percent sure that he did something to Terry,' she claims. 'Obviously the law, the laws of the Land you have to go by that. I just wish he'd tell me where Terry was. That's all I want is to know where Terry is. It's so hard.' 

In 2016, an inquest was held into Terry’s disappearance.  The coroner recorded an open verdict but added that the probability is that Terry died on or shortly after March 2nd 2007.

As a part of the inquest, Jonathan Porter was called for questioning, but he chose not to make a comment or answer questions. 

'Maybe somebody will come forward,' says Helen. 'You know, maybe friends change. Allegiances change. So maybe somebody out there has now got children and is looking at them, and thinks I should do the right thing.' 

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