Gill Sutherland

Stratford Herald/Iliffe Media

Content editor Gill (who triples up as passionate reporter and arts editor) has accrued more splashes than any other reporter in the last couple of years, and is always hungry to get the story first.

That nose for a story and excitement for a scoop still drives her forward. Gill’s enthusiasm for news inspires others – and she brings tireless vigour and wit to the newsroom. Studley Graves Scandal – Stratford Herald, 30th June 2022 et al When Gill got a tip off that the cemetery was being mismanaged at Studley, she launched an investigation, speaking to bereaved families, and making an FOI to the burial authority, Studley Parish council. It exposed a litany of catastrophic errors and maladministration – including at least four bodies in the wrong grave, 22 bodies overlapping and countless botched paperwork – shocking stuff that made a great exclusive splash. The parish council has still not found a way of rectifying the issues or indeed in some cases has not contacted the families affected - consequently Gill is still putting pressure on the parish council to be more accountable – including working with a whistleblower. The Herald is seen as a trusted ally, and more families are still coming forward to share their stories with Gill in a continuing campaign. Protection for women? It’s more empty words – Stratford Herald, 7th October 2021 In July 2020 Warwickshire police officer Oliver Banfield assaulted lone female Emma Homer as she walked home – despite stonewalling and cover up attempts by police, Gill tenaciously stuck with the case putting pressure on the police to push for transparency and an investigation, and covered the subsequent court case, while making a connection with the Homer family. Following the conviction of Met Officer Wayne Couzens for the murder of Sarah Everard the following year, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe put out a statement saying ’lessons had been learned’. Given how recent Emma’s case was, and how police had attempted to cover that up, Gill thought the commissioner’s statement sounded like lip service, and asked Emma’s family what they thought. The subsequent interview with Emma’s aunt made important points, highlighting the inadequacies of the police response. Most poignantly, the aunt, Sally Homer, observed: “Emma’s attack happened nine months before Sarah Everard died. Maybe if there had been more examination in the police about an off-duty officer fake arresting a woman, a bit more awareness of a lone policeman abusing powers, then who knows the outcome might have been different – that’s how serious the implications are.” Why I said no to Boris book – Stratford Herald, 3rd June and 10th June 2021 After Gill humorously wrote about the mystery of what had happened to Boris Johnson’s long-threatened biography of Shakespeare (3rd June 2021) asking various experts she has contact with, a top Stratford-based academic came forward to tell Gill exclusively how he had been effectively asked to ghost write the book. Gill’s scoop in the following edition (10th June) was picked up by the national newspapers and Private Eye.